Excerpt from Variety:
German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 is buying a controlling interest in multichannel network Collective Digital Studio, with plans to merge CDS with its Studio71 MCN and invest $83 million in the combined entity.
Last year ProSieben acquired a 20% stake in CDS for an undisclosed amount. The new online-video business will be named Collective Studio71, a global multichannel network with operations in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Toronto and London, generating around 2 billion video views monthly, according to the companies.
The deal comes after a frenzy of large media companies last year snapped up or invested in YouTube-oriented MCNs. Those include Disney’s purchase of Maker Studios; Chernin Group and AT&T’s Otter Media buying Fullscreen; RTL Group acquiring StyleHaul; Vice Media securing $500 million from A+E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures; and Warner Bros. taking a stake in fanboy-focused Machinima.
ProSieben said the $83 million investment gives Collective Studio71 a post-money valuation of $240 million. The broadcaster will own 75% of the new entity, with the remaining shares held by the founders of CDS — Michael Green, Reza Izad, Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein — and GF Capital Private Equity Fund, an investor in CDS, also retaining a stake in Collective Studio71.