LONDON & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Access Entertainment, a division of Access Industries, the global media, industrial and technology group owned by US industrialist Len Blavatnik, today announced the acquisition of James Packer’s stake in RatPac Entertainment. In partnership with Brett Ratner, the investment gives Access ownership of RatPac’s film, television and documentary business, along with a major piece of the RatPac-Dune venture that co-finances films for Warner Bros. Pictures.
Ratner will retain his interest in RatPac Entertainment, continue as CEO and become Co-Chairman alongside Danny Cohen, President of Access Entertainment and former Director of BBC Television.
Founded in 2013 by Ratner and Packer, RatPac Entertainment’s co-financed films have been nominated for 52 Academy Awards, 39 BAFTAs, 23 Golden Globes, five Emmys and eight Australian Academy Awards and have won 22 Academy Awards, 17 BAFTAs, seven Golden Globes and three Australian Academy Awards. In 2013, RatPac partnered with Dune Entertainment on a multi-year motion picture co-financing arrangement with Warner Bros. for up to 75 pictures including films such as Gravity, The LEGO Movie, Annabelle, American Sniper, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Conjuring 2, Lights Out, Suicide Squad, The LEGO Batman Movie, Kong: Skull Island and the upcoming Wonder Woman, Justice League and Stephen King’s It. RatPac has also partnered with New Regency on numerous films including the Academy Award-winning Birdman and The Revenant.
Since its launch in May 2016, Access Entertainment has quickly developed strategic partnerships with television, film, theater and music businesses. Investments so far have included a premium scripted television financing venture with BBC Worldwide/Lookout Point, a 25% stake in international television business Bad Wolf and a film slate deal with House Productions. Fueled by strong creative leadership from Danny Cohen and Len Blavatnik, Access Entertainment will accelerate RatPac’s already growing television business.
The acquisition also marks a major move into Hollywood motion picture financing for Access Entertainment through its newly acquired interest in RatPac-Dune. Access Entertainment’s deep entertainment industry expertise will further enhance RatPac’s film output.
Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries, said: “Warner Bros. is one of the great Hollywood Studios. I have great respect for their leadership and am delighted to be partnering with Kevin Tsujihara and the Studio alongside the unique talent of Brett Ratner. Together we will build on RatPac's strategic partnership with Warner Bros.”
Brett Ratner, CEO, RatPac Entertainment, said: "I am thrilled to be in partnership with Len and Danny. Len and I have shared the same vision and passion for movies, television and music over the years. Because of his experience and enthusiasm, RatPac Entertainment will be an even more formidable provider of quality entertainment worldwide.”
Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and CEO, Warner Bros., said: “Len has an incredible track record launching really successful business ventures, including Access Entertainment. We’re excited to continue our relationship with Brett and RatPac and look forward to working with Len, Danny and the entire Access team. I’d also like to thank James – he’s been a terrific partner the last three years, having worked with us on a number of key films, including Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and The LEGO Batman Movie.”
Danny Cohen, President, Access Entertainment said: “I’m very excited to be in business with Brett Ratner, Kevin Tsujihara and Warner Bros. The RatPac development slate has great creative strength and we will be working hard to maximize all aspects of the business across development, financing and production.”
Access Entertainment was represented in the transaction by Matt Thompson and his team at Sidley Austin LLP, and RatPac was represented by David Eisman and his team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Notes to Editors
About RatPac Entertainment
RatPac Entertainment is a global media and entertainment company formed by seasoned internet, media and resort investor James Packer and highly regarded Hollywood director and producer Brett Ratner, whose motion pictures as a director have grossed in excess of $2B. Since inception, RatPac has co-financed 67 theatrically released motion pictures exceeding $10B in worldwide box office receipts. For more information, visit www.ratpacentertainment.com.
About Access Entertainment
Launched in May 2016, Access Entertainment is a division of Access Industries focused on investments across the entertainment sector with a concentration in premium-quality television, films, digital content and theater. It is led by Danny Cohen, the former Director of BBC Television and Controller of BBC One. The company’s mission is to deliver the highest quality creative content and partner with the very best talent in the world. Investments in the first year of business have included a premium drama financing venture with BBC Worldwide/Lookout Point, a 25% stake in international television business Bad Wolf and a development slate deal with House Productions.
About Access Industries
Founded in 1986 by Len Blavatnik, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Access Industries is a privately-held industrial group with strategic investments in the United States, Europe and South America. With corporate offices in New York, London and Moscow, its holdings include a number of market-leading companies in the Natural Resources and Chemicals, Media and Telecommunications, Venture Capital, and Real Estate sectors. For more information, visit www.accessindustries.com.
Len Blavatnik is a major American industrialist with global interests in four sectors: natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, technology and e-commerce, and real estate. He is the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held industrial group through which he controls his holdings. Incorporated in 1986, Access Industries has strategic investments in the United States, Europe and South America. Mr. Blavatnik, a U.S. citizen, was raised in Russia and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1978, becoming a citizen in 1984. He received his Master’s degree from Columbia University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Among its other investments, Access owns a significant stake in LyondellBasell Industries (the world’s third-largest independent chemical company with major production facilities in Europe and the United States) and Warner Music Group (one of the world’s leading music companies). Mr. Blavatnik is a member of the Warner Music Group board. Mr. Blavatnik is also engaged in numerous educational pursuits, including establishing the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, sitting on the board of Tel Aviv University and serving as a member of Harvard University’s Committee on University Resources.
An active philanthropist in the U.S. and abroad, Mr. Blavatnik and the Blavatnik Family Foundation provide significant support to leading educational, cultural, and scientific institutions worldwide. Over the years, he has co-produced numerous Broadway, film, and television productions.
Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers. His diverse films resonate with audiences worldwide and, as a director, his films have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. Brett began his career directing music videos before making his feature directorial debut at 26 years old with the action comedy hit Money Talks. He followed with the blockbuster Rush Hour and its successful sequels. Brett also directed The Family Man, Red Dragon, After the Sunset, X- Men: The Last Stand, Tower Heist and Hercules.
Ratner has also enjoyed critical acclaim and box office success as a producer. He served as an executive producer on the Golden Globe and Oscar winning The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp and War Dogs starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. He was a producer on Truth, starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett; I Saw the Light, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen; and Rules Don't Apply, written, directed and produced by Warren Beatty. His other produced films include the smash hit comedy Horrible Bosses and its sequel, and the re-imagined Snow White tale Mirror Mirror.
His additional producing credits include the documentaries Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Catfish, the Emmy-nominated Woody Allen – A Documentary, Helmut by June, I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale, Chuck Norris vs. Communism, the Peabody Award winning Night Will Fall, HBO’s Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds documentary Bright Lights, Peter Bogdanovich’s One Day Since Yesterday, By Sidney Lumet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental documentary Before The Flood. He also executive produced and directed the Golden Globe-nominated FOX series Prison Break.
Danny Cohen is President of Access Entertainment and leads Access Industries’ investment in entertainment media throughout the world. He was previously the Director of BBC Television, where he led the BBC's Television Networks and BBC Productions - Europe's largest television production group with a staff of 3000. His role encompassed the greenlighting and production of all of the BBC's Drama, Comedy, Entertainment and Unscripted programmes. Danny was also in charge of the BBC's movie label BBC Films and was the creative leader of the BBC's digital platform, BBC iPlayer. He was a member of the Board of the BBC.
Danny played a key role in the resurgence of scripted television on the BBC, having commissioned or overseen shows including Happy Valley, Call The Midwife, Poldark, JK Rowling's television output, Peter Kay's Car Share, Doctor Who and War and Peace. He also oversaw major BBC unscripted brands including Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars) and The Graham Norton Show and led BBC One's coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.
Previously, Danny was Controller of the BBC's principal network, BBC One - where he led the Channel to the most successful year in its modern history in 2012. Before that he was Controller of BBC Three, Head of E4 and Head of Documentaries for Channel 4. His commissions in these roles included Skins, The Inbetweeners, Blood Sweat and T-Shirts, Russell Howard's Good News, Supernanny, The Voice, Car Share and many others.