EXCLUSIVE: The deal will see Blink49 expand its Western Canada operations with a majority stake in Front Street.
Blink49 Studios will acquire a majority stake in Vancouver-based production company Front Street Pictures, marking its first corporate acquisition since launching in 2021.
The deal will see Blink49 expand its operations to Western Canada and accelerate growth in the MoW business, while Front Street will be able to increase its production slate and “fund new investments in content and global distribution capacity,” according to a news release. Front Street will continue to be led by president Charles Cooper, and maintain its branding.
The transaction was negotiated by Cooper and Blink49 CFO Nelson Kuo-Lee. The deal is subject to the “execution of definitive documentation and certain conditions and approvals,” according to a news release. Financial details were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.
Front Street Pictures has operated for more than two decades in production services, and recently expanded its operations to Alberta, said the release. The company has produced more than 300 movies and 150 episodes of television for clients such as Hallmark, Lifetime and Sony.
Blink49 Studios was founded in 2021 by CEO John Morayniss, non-executive vice chair Patrice Theroux, COO Jeff Lynas and Kuo-Lee, with the support of anchor investor Fifth Season.
The two companies have recently partnered on two procedural series for network television: CBC’s Wild Cards and CTV’s Sight Unseen, both of which were filmed in Vancouver.
“Working closely with Charles this past year, I’ve been incredibly impressed with his leadership, production expertise and stellar reputation among industry peers,” said Morayniss in a statement. “This investment aligns perfectly with our mission to grow our footprint in Canada, including expanding our infrastructure in Vancouver, establishing a presence in Alberta and plans for further growth in the Canadian market and beyond.”
“The partnership with Blink49 Studios will support Front Street Pictures on its continued growth trajectory and focus on the MoW market,” said Cooper. “John’s vision, along with the expertise of the team at Blink49 Studios, will drive more investment in MoW content production and distribution as well as expansion into the scripted episodic space.”
Pictured (L-R) John Morayniss (courtesy of Blink49 Studios) and Charles Cooper (courtesy of Front Street Pictures)