TV deal: Kew Media Group to acquire Essential Quail Group for $32.8m

• EQ Media’s senior management team will continue to guide its future

The Canadian-based Kew Media Group has announced it has agreed to acquire Essential Quail Media Group (EQ Media) for an initial purchase price of $32.8 million, comprising $20.0 million (C$19.4m) in cash and $12.8m in shares.

EQ Media combines several entities with aggregate pro forma revenue of over AUD$60m.

The EQ Media owners may receive additional consideration in the future, conditional upon EQ Media meeting certain financial targets and other tests.

Peter Sussman, Kew founder and executive chairman, said, “I first got to know EQ Media CEO Chris Hilton (pictured) more than 10 years ago and have always been very impressed with what the EQ Media team has been able to accomplish. This acquisition bolsters Kew’s presence in the US and provides KEW with a diversified revenue platform in Australia.”

EQ Media is a leading independent producer of high quality content for international audiences operating from offices in Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth in the US and Sydney. Buyers of EQ Media’s programming include DIY, HGTV, Cooking Channel, Animal Planet, ABC Australia, SBS, Foxtel, Networks 7, 9 & 10, BBC, National Geographic, PBS, Discovery, Sundance, History Channel, Arte, Netflix and Fox Network.

EQ Media also has a longstanding relationship with Scripps Networks (now part of Discovery Inc.), producing more than a dozen full series orders and pilots together.

Among EQ Media’s recent US non-scripted programs are: Texas Flip ’n Move, produced for DIY channel, now in production on season nine with an additional four seasons commissioned; Restored also for DIY channel with production on the third season commencing soon; Mom and Me, currently in production for HGTV, and Holiday Cookie Builds, in production for Cooking Channel.

Since 2006, Essential Media & Entertainment and Quail Entertainment have collectively provided premium content for all Australian networks, with recent productions like Find My Family (Seven Network), the highest-rated documentary series in Australian television history; the Logie-nominated adventure science series Todd Sampson’s Body Hack and the satirical scripted comedy At Home With Julia (ABC); a Kriv Stenders-directed music feature documentary The Go-Betweens: Right Here, which won Best Feature Documentary at the 2017 Australian SPAA awards; the factual series Afghanistan: Inside Australia’s War, which won the 2016 NSW Premier’s History Award Media Prize, the SPAA Award and was nominated for a Walkley Award; and lifestyle series Gourmet Farmer and Shane Delia’s Spice Journey.

Following the completion of the transaction, EQ Media’s senior management team, which has driven the company’s impressive growth, will continue to guide its future.

“Since founding Essential in 2006, we have grown the business to become a leading content producer,” said Chris Hilton, CEO of EQ Media. “We now have the opportunity to take it to the next level by partnering with Kew and accessing its strong international distribution platform.”

Greg Quail, chief content officer, added, “For storytellers there has never been a better time. The explosion of streaming, the consolidation of cable and the enduring broadcast environment around the globe offer more platforms than ever to build audiences. We are delighted to join Kew’s drive to deliver top-rated content to the world.”

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