Edge Investments, a specialist investment house focused on the creative industries sector, will invest up to GBP10 million in the UK television production industry.
The UK television production industry is buoyant, with a pipeline of new entrants and a supportive creative environment in Great Britain driving the growth and evolution of this flourishing sector.
This week marks 80 years of British television, since the BBC first broadcast sound and vision into the nation's homes.
Television is a major contributor to the UK creative industries economy. Annual revenues for independent television were at an all-time high of GBP3 billion in 2014. In just 10 years, independent TV production has grown from a cottage industry to a multi-billion pound sector.
The estimated total revenue from the international sale of UK TV programmes and associated activities was over GBP1 billion in 2014/5 and sales of digital rights also increased by 47 per cent, with Amazon and Netflix between them accounting for a quarter of the digital market.
Rather than looking to take distribution rights alongside its investment, Edge can offer clean equity capital aligned with management’s growth ambitions, and will provide mentoring and support to investee SMEs.
Joanna Smith, investment manager at Edge, says: “We want to meet television production management teams who are looking for a pure equity investor focused on growth and an eventual exit. Edge typically seeks creatively driven businesses which are run on a sound commercial basis, with revenues of around GBP1 million; however there is some flexibility in our approach.
“We’re looking to invest in a number of strong, creative firms which can demonstrate a variety of broadcaster relationships, with at least one to two commissions running through the company to date. Rather than one-off projects we are looking at companies that have the ability to deliver series and develop formats, as that is where the UK’s world-beating ability in the creation, acquisition, management and commercial exploitation of intellectual property best translates into real economic value.”
Edge’s largest fundraising to date, launched in November 2015 with backing from the British Business Bank, the GBP40 million Edge Creative Enterprise Fund’s purpose is to nurture and assist creative businesses to grow bigger and faster.
David Glick, chief executive of Edge Investments, adds: “We all know that the UK leads the world in the creative industries and we should be rightly proud of our continued success in this area. Having worked with creative talent for more than 25 years I also know that marrying the needs and ambitions of our best creatives with the demands of investors is an ongoing challenge.
“My team at Edge has significant experience working in the creative industries; we can translate the vision and ambition of creative executives into language that investors, and eventually buyers, understand, delivering vital growth financing for the businesses we support, freeing up talented people to generate ideas, to create great television, to realise their potential, and in due course maximising their wealth by getting the best value for their creative output. There is so much ability in the UK’s independent television industry and we are excited to discover and nurture the next generation of leading lights.”