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Jeff Zucker-backed RedBird acquires All3 Media

Media executive Jeffrey A. Zucker attends an event in 2010. (Photo: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons/Graphic by The Desk)

American media mogul Jeff Zucker has acquired a London-based content production company operated in part by his former employer.

On Saturday, Zucker’s RedBird Capital Partners in partnership with Abu Dhabi’s International Media Investments (IMI) announced the acquisition of All3 Media from Liberty Global and Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) for £1.15 billion (around U.S. $1.45 billion). Zucker previously served as the president of CNN, the international cable network owned by WBD.

“All3 Media is one of the world’s greatest content companies, and this gives us an incredible platform to continue to grow our expanding portfolio,” Zucker said in a statement. “The demand for new shows and ongoing existing series, both scripted and unscripted, makes All3 a perfect fit for us.”

All3 Media comprises more than four dozen independent content studios spread across several countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand and the United States. It produces several hit television series like the British soap opera “Hollyoaks,” reality show “Kitchen Nightmares,” crime drama “Midsomer Murders,” British comedy “Peep Show” and medical drama “Call the Midwife.”

The acquisition continues Zucker’s expansion into media since leaving CNN two years ago. He formed RedBird in December 2022, and has worked with IMI since then to snatch up a number of media properties like the Telegraph newspaper, the Spectator magazine and a minority stake in Front Office Sports.

Keira Knightly retraced her grandmother's footsteps in "My Grandparent's War," distributed by All3 Media International. (Promotional image courtesy All3 Media)
Keira Knightly retraced her grandmother’s footsteps in “My Grandparent’s War,” distributed by All3 Media International. (Promotional image courtesy All3 Media)

Over the past few months, RedBird and IMI have purchased a number of content production studios, including EverWonder Studios, Media Res and Hidden Pigeon Company.

The acquisition of All3 Media comes several months after British broadcaster ITV announced it was no longer exploring a purchase of the content studio on its own.

“ITV assesses all potential value-creating [mergers and acquisitions, or M&A] opportunities against its strict financial criteria and disciplined capital allocation framework,” a spokesperson for ITV said in a statement last summer.

Financial publication Reuters reported ITV was considering a deal that would have seen it acquire Warner Bros Discovery’s 50 percent stake in the venture, which would have left Liberty Global as a partial owner.

Analysts with Citi said a deal between ITV and All3 Media made financial sense, but would have driven up ITV’s debt to “an uncomfortably high level” at a time of peak investment and economic uncertainty.

“This doesn’t mean that further M&A in content production at a later date might not make sense, but overall we think it is sensible for ITV to keep its powder dry for now,” the analysts said, according to Reuters.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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