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In a rapidly evolving media environment, joining The Forest Road Company supports ACF Investment Bank’s strategy to grow the business globally

After three decades of transacting market-leading media and entertainment deals, Thomas Dey, CEO and founder of ACF Investment Bank, announced in January 2024 that ACF had joined The Forest Road Company, and only three months into the relationship, the company has already advised an investor group led by Forest Road Asset Management LLC with respect to their investment in Range Media Partners.

This group is comprised of affiliates of Liberty Global, an investment fund advised by Wildcat Capital Management, and Rick Hess.

Thomas Dey

Thomas Dey

Over the past decade, Dey and the ACF team have structured and led some of the most innovative financing deals in the entertainment industry, including the sale of The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit IP to Embracer Group; advising Syco Entertainment on the securitisation of its Got Talent franchise; 72 Films on its sale to Fremantle; private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors on its investment in Boardwalk Pictures (Welcome To Wrexham); Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones on the sale of their company Broke & Bones to Netflix; Plimsoll Productions on its investment from Lloyds Development Capital; Left Bank Pictures (The Crown) on its sale to Sony; Bear Grylls Ventures’ sale to Banijay; Paddington Bear IP to Studio Canal; Pilgrim Studios (The Ultimate Fighter) to Lionsgate; Leftfield Entertainment (Pawn Stars) to ITV Plc; and Top Gear on behalf of Jeremy Clarkson to the BBC.

Joining forces with The Forest Road Company provides ACF with a vast network of strategic investors and capital partners to support its investment banking capabilities and to grow the business globally. The combined group will target IP holders, brands and businesses in the Media and Entertainment space.

This includes mergers and asset sales from the large studios, deals that support the growth of the SVoD channels with premium content, talent management and agency deals, and the increased appetite for foreign-language content and the necessary geographic expansion.

“Content is becoming ubiquitous, and I believe that the area we have specialised in is continuing to rise up the value chain within the consolidators and studios and be the pertinent factor within them,” says Dey.

“As we have seen from the announcement of recent deals – Redbird acquiring All3Media, Fremantle acquiring Asacha, and Mediawan acquiring Leonine – I think all the consolidators will be consolidated and the studios are in play in one way or another.

“These types of deals are going to continue to happen across the next five to 10 years and fundamentally, at the heart of all these deals is the change of the distribution platforms and the way people are viewing content. This is why I continue to believe that content creators are one of the significant players in the value chain.

“With ACF’s transatlantic footprint in the UK and USA, we deploy teams on the ground in their local market, which provides seamless intelligence on a real-time basis.”

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ACF Investment Bank is a global investment bank specialising in selling, buying, fundraising, securitisation, and pre/post deal services for businesses, intellectual property holders and brands in the Media and Entertainment sector. If you are thinking of selling your company, buying a business, fundraising, securitising your assets, or you are coming up to the end of your existing deal, we have the expertise and track record to help you find the right solution. Contact to arrange a meeting.