Raven Capital Management Acquires Majority Stake In David Ian Productions
David Ian Productions Limited ("David Ian Productions" or the "Company"), a leading producer, promoter, and tour operator of high-profile licensed musicals that are staged in theatrical markets around the world, has sold a majority stake in the Company to a newly-formed joint venture (the "JV") controlled by Raven Capital Management LLC ("Raven").
Founded in 2006 by David Ian, the Company produces and co-produces some of the world's biggest hit musicals including Annie, The Bodyguard, Cats, Evita, Chicago, Grease and The Sound of Music in numerous international markets including the United Kingdom, China, the United States, South Africa, Japan, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand.
Prior to founding David Ian Productions, David Ian served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the global theatrical division of Live Nation, having joined the group when it was part of Clear Channel Entertainment. At Live Nation, he was responsible for Broadway Across America, which produced and toured first class Broadway shows in more than 40 markets in the United States and Canada. Simultaneously, Ian served as CEO of the U.K. division, which included over 25 theatres in London's West End and throughout the U.K. regions.
David Ian commented on the transaction, "I could not be more enthusiastic about my new partnership with Raven and its principals. They share my vision about the exciting opportunity to expand the footprint of musical theatre worldwide over the next decade."
The investment is a platform acquisition, positioned for strong growth, in the production of first-class theatrical content with a highly successful track record in global touring. Raven, which recently acquired the Open Road Films library, views the theatrical space as an additional and lasting hallmark of its entertainment and media investment thesis. Through the JV, Raven will continue to invest in theatrical content and international expansion.
Jeremy Tucker, Co-Founder and Principal of Raven commented, "The live theatrical sector has been enjoying a renaissance over the past several years, which we believe has its greatest trajectory still ahead. We are providing meaningful capital to David Ian Productions for both organic growth and acquisitions across the industry."
The Company enjoys long-term IP, distribution and venue relationships including Really Useful Group, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, Stage Entertainment, Nederlander, NAMCO, Ambassador Theatre Group, Shanghai Media Group and Rodgers & Hammerstein amongst others. Since 2015, David Ian Productions has successfully expanded its pipeline and launched tours of world-class shows such as The Sound of Music, Cats, Chicago, Grease and The Bodyguard into dozens of international markets and locations, many of which had rarely been previously visited by U.K. and U.S. theatre companies.
Along with regular co-producing partner Michael Harrison, the Company has also had significant success developing its own content, such as the smash hit The Bodyguard, based on Lawrence Kasdan's 1992 Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film. David Ian Productions is currently achieving great success as a Co-Producer and General Manager of the Channing Tatum production Magic Mike Live at London's Hippodrome Casino, based on the successful films Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL.
Raven has indicated its JV formation and acquisition will allow it to invest in additional touring rights for new and established musicals, and to acquire larger libraries of content. Raven will also consider the formation of new production and touring offices in certain international territories for the support of David Ian Productions and shows created and presented by third parties. With this new platform, the JV also intends to expand into supplementary formats for non-traditional IP and family entertainment, partnering with film studios and music studios to develop and own IP, and to engage in further accretive merger and acquisition opportunities.
"David Ian has built a platform like no other, with a demonstrated track record for quality and local knowledge and relationships in established and emerging markets around the world. With the expanded resources that Raven provides, David Ian Productions is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of a growing global audience for outstanding live entertainment content", commented Dan Miller, a management partner of the JV who introduced the David Ian Productions opportunity and is guiding Raven's expansion into the live entertainment arena.
Under the JV's new ownership, David Ian will remain in his position as CEO of the Company and continue to be based out of the Company's headquarters in London, located in the historic district of Covent Garden.
Lisbeth R. Barron, Chairman & CEO and her team at Barron International Group, LLC, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to David Ian Productions for the transaction. U.K.-based Clintons served as the legal counsel to the Company. The London office of Latham & Watkins served as the legal counsel to Raven and the JV. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About David Ian Productions Limited
David Ian Productions Limited was founded in 2006 and is based in London's Covent Garden. The Company offers a full range of services to the theatrical industry, including general management, production of showcases and workshops, production accounting, project research, feasibility studies, budgeting and financial planning, preparation of investment material, personnel recruitment and management of all of the logistics required in the preparation and maintenance of major theatrical productions, including the overseeing and management of ticketing, marketing, and press operations.
Based in New York with offices in Los Angeles, Raven is a private equity management firm that specializes in asset-based equity purchases and loans. Raven directly originates, underwrites, and actively manages its investments primarily in the following asset classes: intellectual property and receivables, specialty finance, commercial real estate, transportation, and infrastructure assets, as well as other esoteric assets. Other media assets in Raven's investment portfolios and related to David Ian Productions include Open Road Films (acquired in 2018) and Exclusive Media (acquired in 2015).
Barron International Group, LLC is a privately-owned investment banking firm with a globally-focused client base. The firm's founder, Lisbeth R. Barron, has more than 30 years of experience, having spearheaded in excess of $65 billion in ground-breaking strategic advisory and capital-raising transactions throughout her career in the Media, Entertainment, Leisure, Hospitality, and Branded Consumer Products industries.