The deal saw Westbrook buy out the 50% stake previously held by Zurich-based investment holding company Elysian Invest AG — a move intended to “dramatically…expand its capabilities in international content development, financing, production and distribution,” the company said.
Telepool, one of Germany’s leading distributors, will now operate under the auspices of the newly established Westbrook International Holdings. The Munich-headquartered firm’s CEO Jan Frouman has been tapped as the new president for Westbrook International Holdings, effective immediately.
“Westbrook’s acquisition of Telepool and the launch of Westbrook International Holdings enables us to truly reach a global community, furthering our mission to empower artists to tell stories that connect the world,” said Westbrook CEO Ko Yada in a statement. “We are excited to have Jan both running Telepool and leading the search for future acquisitions at Westbrook International Holdings.”
Westbrook Inc. launched in July 2019, and encompasses the film and TV studio Westbrook Studios, IP incubator and production company Westbrook Media, Red Table Talk Productions, which creates Facebook Watch shows include Pinkett Smith’s hit interview series “Red Table Talk,” and Good Goods, which creates consumer products spun off from the company’s IP.
On Wednesday, it received fresh funding from Candle Media, the venture run by Disney veteran Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs with investment capital from Blackstone, which now holds a minority stake.
Westbrook Studios have produced content including “King Richard,” “Cobra Kai” and “Amend: The Fight for America,” the latter two being for Netflix. It is currently at work on the feature film “Emancipation” for Apple TV Plus and a reboot of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” for Peacock.
Telepool holds the German distribution rights to Smith’s recently released feature “King Richard,” produced by Westbrook Studios for Warner Bros.
The production firm is now pushing further abroad, recently announcing film and TV project partnerships with Nigerian content firm EbonyLife and Yasushi Akimoto’s Akimoto Project in Japan.
In his new role, 20-year media industry veteran Frouman will continue to oversee Telepool’s operations in addition to driving growth of Westbrook’s portfolio outside the U.S. Frouman comes to the role after launching and acting as CEO of Red Arrow Studios, an independent production and distribution group with more than 20 production companies worldwide.
Reto Eigenmann, CEO of Elysian Fields, Elysian Invest AG’s parent company, thanked Westbrook for an “excellent partnership over the past years.”
“Telepool has been successfully transformed to meet the challenges of the future and we firmly believe Westbrook is the best possible owner of the company going forward,” he said.