Image Nation invests in Stuart Ford's AGC studios

Stuart Ford, founder of independent film and television company IM Global has launched a new international film and television production and licensing company, AGC Studios. Image Nation Abu Dhabi is one of three initial key strategic investors backing the new company.
Michael Garin, Image Nation CEO
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Michael Garin, Image Nation CEO

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Stuart Ford, the founder and former Chief Executive Officer of independent film and television company IM Global, has launched a new international film and television production and licensing company, AGC Studios, it was announced in Los Angeles today by Ford. Ford exited IM Global in August 2017 over “strategic differences” with its owners.

AGC Studios is initially backed by three key strategic investors; Latin American private asset management firm MediaNet Partners; Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Symantec CEO and founder and chairman of Fibonacci Films, Greg Clark; and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the Arabic-speaking world.

AGC Studios will develop, produce, finance and globally license a diverse portfolio of feature films, scripted, unscripted and factual television, digital and musical content, produced from its two headquarters in Los Angeles and London. The new studio’s Hollywood output will have a multicultural focus, designed for exploitation across an array of global platforms including major studio partnerships, streaming platforms, traditional broadcast and cable television networks and independent distributors, both in the US and internationally.

Ford is joined as a partner in the new venture by former IM Global CFO, Miguel Palos, in the role of Chief Operating Officer.

Said Ford: “Amidst unprecedented levels of evolution in the entertainment industry, AGC Studios’ state of the art and highly flexible business model allows us to create and efficiently distribute a prolific array of premium film and television content. We’re fortunate enough to have a committed trio of top class international backers who share my vision for where the industry is headed and how AGC can maximise this incredible market opportunity.”

Said Juan Aguerrevere, partner at MediaNet Partners: “Our two main goals are to invest in talent and to find true partners along the way. In Stuart we have found both in spades. His proven track record and understanding of the industry and its changing nature is second to none. We look forward to working with Stuart in this new adventure.”

Said Greg Clark, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, CEO of the American Fortune 500 software company Symantec and founder and chairman of Fibonacci Films: “We are excited to partner with Stuart and his team. Stuart is a distinguished leader in the industry and an excellent steward to navigate the structural changes that are happening across the industry. Stuart and his team’s experience, business acumen and creative capability are exemplary.”
Said Ben Ross, Head of Narrative Film and Television at Image Nation Abu Dhabi: “Over the last few years, Image Nation has enjoyed a close partnership with Stuart and are pleased to be a founding investor in his new venture.  We believe AGC Studios is in a unique position to capitalise on the changing trends in the marketplace.

“Image Nation has long enjoyed partnerships with world class entities which allow us to create high calibre content in the Middle East. As with all our international investments, our partnership with AGC Studios will allow us to subsidize our local content and help us further our commitment to building a burgeoning film and TV industry in the UAE and the wider region."

AGC Studios will have three principal operating subsidiaries covering production, distribution and finance.

AGC Productions will develop and produce a diverse multicultural slate of mainstream English language feature film and TV projects. Aside from traditional Hollywood output, dedicated sub-divisions within AGC Productions will focus on generating material for Latino and Urban audiences as well as music-driven IP. The television output will include scripted series, unscripted and reality projects, factual content and content specifically created for digital platforms.

Stuart Ford

Secondly, AGC International will operate a substantial international film and television licensing and distribution platform, building on Ford and his management team’s lengthy track record at the forefront of licensing content to major studios, independent studios, broadcasters and streaming platforms globally.

Finally, AGC Capital will provide development, production and post-production financing to both AGC Productions’ output as well as to select third-party produced film and TV productions via a portfolio of equity, senior and mezzanine debt, soft money and bridge-capital financial products.

An extensive management team will be put in place to operate the three business divisions and will be announced within the next few weeks.

Image Nation Abu Dhabi was represented by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

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