This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined CMS on 1 May 2017.
International TMT law firm Olswang has advised BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, on a new long-term creative partnership with AMC Networks, the global entertainment company behind acclaimed series Mad Men and The Walking Dead. The two companies have previously collaborated on dramas including Top of the Lake and The Honourable Woman.
Under the terms of the partnership agreement, AMC Networks is investing $200m to acquire a 49.9% equity stake in cable channel BBC AMERICA. The agreement is structured as a long-term equity joint venture, with BBC Worldwide retaining 50.1%. AMC Networks will have operational control of BBC AMERICA, including affiliate and advertising sales, will run it consistent with BBC's editorial standards and policies, and will consolidate the results of the joint venture in its financial statements.
Olswang advised long-standing client BBC Worldwide on the complex commercial and intellectual property aspects of the deal. Reed Smith (New York) acted for BBC Worldwide on the corporate elements of this US-based transaction. Hughes Hubbard & Reed advised AMC.
Olswang Partner Selina Potter, who led the Olswang team, said: "It was a pleasure to help BBC Worldwide on a new partnership in a fast-paced market like the US. We have advised BBC Worldwide on several joint ventures and strategic partnerships over the years and it was really rewarding to be able to build on this expertise in such an exciting deal."
The Olswang team was led by Partner Selina Potter with support from Partner Victoria Gaskell and Associate Tomos Jones (MCT/Commercial).