EXCLUSIVE: Steve Michaels, boss of Asylum Entertainment Group, is continuing his Endeavor-backed M&A drive.
The company has invested in British production company Soho Studios Entertainment, founded by former Alaska TV and Zodiak exec Ian Lamarra.
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It marks the latest investment for Michaels’ group, which bought a stake in Dawn Airey’s British production company Moon&Back Media last September.
It comes nearly a year after WME owner Endeavor acquired a majority stake in Asylum with plans to “supercharge” its footprint with a major M&A drive that has seen it invest in a number of nonscripted businesses.
Soho Studios was founded by Lamarra in 2022 with former Objective Media Group boss Paul Sandler and Money Group Entertainment CEO Francis Ridley as co-founding directors.
Its first series order was for ITV’s The Playboy Bunny Murder, a two-part documentary series from Marcel Theroux, which told the murders of three young women in London, centered around Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club in Mayfair, the 1970s.
Soho Studios is also behind Tim’s Listening Party, a podcast from The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, which was based on his viral Twitter posts. The podcast has also been turned into a live event, initially in London, with more shows planned. Next up is a podcast from Line of Duty star Vicky McClure and her husband Jonny Owen.
Before launching Soho Studios, Lamarra was Creative Director at Alaska TV, which he co-founded with Chris Fouracre and Paul Sommers. There, he was behind series including Spy Wars with Damian Lewis, which aired on the Smithsonian Channel in the U.S., as well as Sky’s Donovan and The Beatles In India. Prior to that, he had his own company Bookhouse at Zodiak Media, where he produced Shane MacGowan: A Wreck Reborn, which featured candid interviews from the Pogues frontman and Johnny Depp.
Lamarra said, “I am really galvanized by Steve and his team at Asylum, whose approach and attitude to creativity and collaboration make them the perfect partner at this crucial time. We are excited to grow the company in the UK and work strategically with Asylum to do a lot more in the U.S.”
Asylum’s Michaels added, “Ian offers a wealth of insight and access to the most creative storytellers in the business. He is a highly skilled visionary who has successfully launched companies to serve international markets. We are excited to collaborate with Soho Studios Entertainment at such an explosive time in their development.”
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