U.K. Factual Outfit Zinc Media Group Draws $4.5 million Investment in Fundraising Round

U.K. factual group Zinc Media Group has drawn $4.5 million (£3.5 million) to accelerate its growth through a recent City fundraising round.

The business’s portfolio contains six factual brands, including Blakeway, Blakeway North, Brook Lapping, Films of Record, Reef and Tern Television.

The $4.5 million pot of money was raised through a new share issue, which won support from existing shareholders and a number of new institutional investors.

The investment comes during a purple patch for high-end factual out of the U.K. and soaring private equity interest in premium TV. Last year, Plimsoll Productions, makers of National Geographic’s “Hostile Planet With Bear Grylls,” won a multi-million-dollar investment from private equity firm LDC valuing the business at $104 million (£80 million).

Mark Browning, CEO of Zinc, said the new funds will allow the business to “further invest in creative talent, invest in our nations and regions operations and invest in technology to help fuel Zinc’s overall growth.”

The exec said Zinc is securing more U.S. commissions and “needs to invest further behind this growth”.

“We have a fantastic senior creative team and this additional funding will help us extend that team even further.  There is no better time for us to be investing in our creative growth.”

The outfit enjoyed an “uplift” in demand for business outside of London, which was up 32% year on year. “We are one of the U.K.’s very few multi-nation companies, so are a perfect partner for commissioners looking for high-quality nations and regions content,” said Browning. 

Zinc Media operates in Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester and London, with an emerging Bristol base. Overall revenues are said to have risen by 14% last year.

Content output spans a range of factual, from returning daytime and primetime series, to landmark features and one-offs. 

Recent shows include Brook Lapping’s “Inside Europe: Ten Years of Turmoil” (3 x 60’ for BBC Two) and “Why Are Our Politicians So Crap?” with Jeremy Paxman (1 x 60’ for Channel 5); Blakeway’s “Lost Cities With Albert Lin” (6 x 60’ for National Geographic); Films of Record’s “The Trans Women Athlete Dispute With Martina Navratilova” (1 x 60’ for BBC One); Reef’s “Critical Incident” (10 x 30’ for BBC One); and Tern Television’s “Emergency Helicopter Medics” (10 x 60’ for More 4).

The new investment will allow the installation of new post-production technology across Zinc sites, all of which will be centralised going forward – a strategy that is to allow the group to further grow its nations and regions commissions.

It will also expand marketing communications agency Zinc Communicate, enabling it to build a client base in digital marketing, video communication, and brand-led content alongside its existing digital publishing, CSR and digital education business. 

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