Home Entertainment Sony Takes Majority Stake In ‘Alex Rider’ Producer Eleventh Hour Films

Sony Takes Majority Stake In ‘Alex Rider’ Producer Eleventh Hour Films

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Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is maintaining its focus on British TV drama with another big acquisition deal.

The studio has upped its minority shareholding in Alex Rider producer Eleventh Hour Films to a majority stake. Sony had first invested in the British indie in 2018.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Eleventh Hour will sit alongside fellow UK drama producers Left Bank, Bad Wolf and Eleven in the SPT stable. Along with the shareholder changes, company founder Jill Green will move from her CEO role to become a creative executive producer. She will remain chair, and Eve Gutierrez and Paula Cuddy will become co-CEOs.

According to documents on Companies House, before today’s transaction SPT controlled 22.7% of the shares, with Green owning 43.2%, Gutierrez 14.4%, Cuddy 5.3% and Eleventh Hour Films as an entity the remaining 14.3%. It’s not immediately clear how much Sony will own under the new structure. The studio hadn’t responded for comment at press time.

Eleventh Hour is known for its collaborations with screenwriter and novelist Anthony Horowitz, making his young adult drama series Alex Rider, which has run for three seasons on Amazon services, along with BritBox and Masterpiece series Magpie Murders and its follow-up Moonflower Murders.

The indie producer also made the Edinburgh-set BBC detective series Rebus, Paramount+ UK drama The Killing Kind, which recently launched on Hulu, and is soon to launch its latest Horowitz collab, MGM+ and BBC crime series Nine Bodies in a Mexican Morgue. Further back it made Foyle’s War and Safe House for ITV and New Blood for BBC One.

“Over the past decade, Jill, Eve and Paula have built a remarkable company and it has been a great joy for everyone at Sony to have been part of their adventure,” said Wayne Garvie, President, International Production at SPT. “Starting with Alex Rider and right through to Nine Bodies in a Mexican Morgue, we’ve witnessed first-hand their ability for consistently delivering high-quality, commercial event television with global appeal. We are overjoyed that they are becoming a full member of our roster of world-leading drama labels. Their development pipeline suggests that the next few years are going to be even more remarkable, and Sony Pictures Television will be a proud partner.” 

The deal is part of a strategy to consolidate SPT’s international production group portfolio under Garvie, and comes a few months after we revealed global scripted chief Nina Lederman was leaving the business. She exited this month.

New Eleventh Hour co-CEOs Gutierrez and Cuddy were previously Eleventh Hour’s Head of Talent/executive producer and Creative Director, respectively. They will work alongside Sarah Woolway, who is joining as Chief Commercial Officer from Gaumont UK, where she was Head of Business and Legal Affairs.

“Together with Jill we have developed and produced a raft of shows we are incredibly proud of with brilliant writers and production teams,” said Gutierrez and Cuddy. “As Co-CEOs we are delighted to now lead the company onwards into its next exciting chapter, remaining true to Jill’s founding principle of always striving to find ways to bring great stories to screen – on schedule and on budget.”

“Eve, Paula and I have been a tight team working together on an amazing EHF journey,” said Green. “Now with the full support of Sony Pictures Television and a strong senior team restructure, I have every confidence that an equally brilliant future lies ahead.” 

Helion Partners advised Eleventh Hour on the transaction.



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