Providence invests up to $500m to form new global content studio North Road

Apollo is providing $300 in debt financing to North Road.

  • Peter Chernin is leading North Road
  • Chernin is founder and owner of Chernin Entertainment, a film and TV production company
  • North Road will consolidate Chernin Entertainment, Words + Pictures and the U.S. assets of Red Arrow Studio under one entity.

Providence Equity Partners is investing up to $500 million in equity to form The North Road Company, a global content studio. Apollo is providing $300 in debt financing.

Peter Chernin is leading North Road.

Chernin is founder and owner of Chernin Entertainment, a film and TV production company.

The North Road leadership team includes Jenno Topping, who oversees the scripted TV and film business in her continued role as president of Chernin Entertainment; and Connor Schell, who will now oversee additional non-scripted businesses at North Road. Jan Frouman, president of North Road, will be involved in overall growth strategy with a focus on international expansion, along with Kristin Jones, president of international TV.

“Our goal is to build a leading global, independent content studio by combining top industry production entities with leaders who are each proven experts in their businesses,” said Chernin, in a statement. “Premium scripted and non-scripted content across film and TV is in high demand both in the U.S. and globally, and we aspire to meet the needs of the streamers, cable networks, broadcasters, and any other platform that may emerge with exceptional, commercial content.”

At launch, North Road becomes one of the largest suppliers of TV and film content, combining Chernin Entertainment’s slate with 45 active productions across Red Arrow’s U.S. portfolios and over 15 active productions at Words + Pictures.

Chernin Entertainment has produced over 25 feature films, including the Oscar-winning “Ford V Ferrari” and the Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures.”

Frouman and Jones will work out of North Road’s new London office, where they will drive international growth and expansion strategies across non-scripted and scripted TV and film. Frouman served as chairman and CEO of Red Arrow prior to joining North Road from Westbrook. Jones comes to North Road from AMC Networks, where she served as executive vice president of international programming and programming innovation and was responsible for such shows as “The Night Manager,” “Killing Eve” and “Gangs of London.” In her role at North Road, Jones will focus on identifying companies, talent relationships, and film and TV projects for the international marketplace.

North Road was advised in the deal by Centerview Partners and Moelis & Company while legal representation was provided by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

Providence Equity Partners focuses on growth-oriented media, communications, education and technology companies across North America and Europe. Since its founding in 1989, Providence has invested over $31 billion across more than 170 private equity portfolio companies. With its headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, the firm also has offices in New York, London, Boston and Atlanta.