Red Arrow Entertainment Group has taken a majority stake of 65 percent in prolific US based independent production company 44 Blue Productions. Founded in 1984 by Rasha Drachkovitch and Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch and based in Los Angeles, 44 Blue is an award-winning non-scripted production house focused on docu-series, factual entertainment, celeb-reality, and lifestyle and action-adventure programming. This acquisition represents a further strategic investment for Red Arrow to broaden its factual entertainment portfolio and grow its presence in the US. With the addition of 44 Blue, Red Arrow now has nine US-based companies in the group.
44 Blue has produced innovative content for dozens of top US broadcast and cable networks, including A&E, Animal Planet, CBS, Discovery Channel, E!, HBO, Lifetime, MSNBC and more. Internationally, their series and formats have entertained audiences all over the world. Their current slate includes multiple Emmy® Award-nominated hit “Wahlburgers” (A&E), the evocative docu-series Nightwatch (A&E), and E!’s highest-rated new show Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry. 44 Blue also produces one of Animal Planet’s longest running series Pit Bulls & Parolees and MSNBC’s critically-acclaimed and long-running series Lockup.
Jan Frouman, Chairman & CEO of Red Arrow Entertainment Group, said: “Rasha and Stephanie have over 40 years of combined production experience and have established a first-rate and highly respected team. Working together with 44 Blue is a great opportunity for Red Arrow to partner with a dynamic, successful and highly collaborative company. This partnership offers us expanded access to A-list talent and premium factual and reality TV content.”
44 Blue Productions has one of the deepest slates of celeb-reality programming in the industry. Their A-list talent partnerships include Mark Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Dick Wolf, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Melissa Joan Hart, and Jennifer Garner.
“Our partnership with Red Arrow immediately unlocks global distribution and access to the kind of scale that will allow us to leverage our formats and expand our storytelling to new audiences around the world,” said Rasha Drachkovitch, co-founder and CEO of 44 Blue Productions. “The combination of our loyal and talented team, our deep network and talent relationships, and Red Arrow’s global reach represents virtually limitless opportunities to create and distribute our best work yet.”
“We’ve been consistently impressed by Red Arrow for quite some time, and couldn’t have asked for a better strategic partner. They recognize and appreciate the intense commitment that the 44 Blue team brings to each of our projects,” said Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch, co-founder and president of 44 Blue Productions. “We’re looking forward to continuing to create top-notch content with one of the industry’s global leaders and accelerate our innovation in areas such as digital and virtual reality.”
As part of the acquisition of 44 Blue, Red Arrow will also gain access to OVRture, the virtual reality studio launched in 2015 to produce 360-degree and immersive content for broadcasters including A&E and MSNBC, as well as brands and digital platforms.
44 Blue Productions will continue to be led by co-founders Rasha and Stephanie Drachkovitch. Red Arrow International will distribute the company’s programs internationally.
Red Arrow now has nine companies located in the US: 44 Blue Productions, Kinetic Content, Fabrik Entertainment, Left/Right, Half Yard Productions, Karga Seven Pictures, Dorsey Pictures, Ripple Entertainment and Band of Outsiders; alongside scripted companies Cove Pictures and Mad Rabbit that have offices in the US.
44 Blue is represented by William Morris Endeavor. Ron Milkes and Bryan Bowles of Bryor Media Partners and Matt Thompson of Sidley Austin LLP advised 44 Blue on the transaction. Red Arrow was advised by Stella Capital Advisors and Milbank.