Federation acquires majority stake in Vertigo Films


Vertigo Films today announces it has inked a deal with International studio Federation to take a majority stake in the company. Vertigo’s credits include smash-hit TV shows Britannia and Bulletproof, box office number ones StreedDance 3D and The Sweeney and award-winning film such as Monsters and Bronson.


Federation is a production and distribution company that heralds a new breed of independent European studios. Working with platforms and major actors in the market, Federation is behind several major international productions like The Bureau, Around the World in 80 Days and teen drama Find Me in Paris.


The acquisition follows an exceptionally busy year for Vertigo, which is currently in post-production on new comedy-drama series Mammals, by Jez Butterworth starring James Corden and Sally Hawkins for Amazon, forthcoming 80s set gangster epic A Town Called Malice by Nick Love for Sky Max, and has just wrapped principal photography on a new star-studded film, with further details to be announced at a later date.    


The deal underlines both Vertigo Films’ and Federation’s ambitions to expand their offering of premium content to the global market and marks the continued expansion of the independent European studio, as it increases its investment in acclaimed production labels and creative talent.


Specialising in film and high-end drama production for the global market, London-based Vertigo Films was founded in 2002 by executive producers Allan Niblo and James Richardson and grew into one of the most successful independent film production and distribution companies in the UK. Following Jane Moore’s appointment as CEO in 2014, Vertigo channeled its success into the small screen, producing two of Sky’s most successful original HETV dramas in recent years; Britannia and Ashley Walters’ hit Bulletproof.


Now in its 20th year, Vertigo has a long history of finding and supporting new talent, with a number of their films kick-starting the careers of leading names including Tom Hardy (Bronson, Mad Max), Vanessa Kirby (Kill Command, Mission Impossible), director Nicholas Winding Refn (Bronson, Drive), and director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla, Star Wars: Rogue One).  Their critically acclaimed and multiple award-winning film slate includes Bronson, Monsters, The Football Factory, It’s All Gone Pete Tong and commercial smash-hit StreetDance 3D.


Michel Frieh of Frieh & Associés and Joshua Metliss, Reno Antoniades, of Lee & Thompson served as legal advisors for Federation; Tom Manwaring and Alex Reed-Brewer of Helion Partners advised Vertigo Films on the transaction and Nick Swimer, Stephen Mooney and Ravi Pattani of Reed Smith served as legal advisors.


In a joint statement, Vertigo Film’s executive producers and co-founders James Richardson and Allan Niblo, and Jane Moore, CEO of Vertigo, said:

“Vertigo Films has been a reliable name in film for 20 years producing quality and commercially successful films, and we are thrilled with the company’s success in the last few years through the expansion of our television division. Bringing the boldest ideas from extraordinary talents to life is in our DNA and to now have such a prolific partner in Federation is an opportunity to expand and drive our ambitious slate at full speed.

Producing film and TV for the global market is at the heart of all that we do, and as we searched for an international sales partner, we wanted to find a company that shared our independent, rebellious, and ambitious spirit – and finding that in Pascal Breton, Lionel Uzan and our friends at Federation is gold dust. Their unwavering support has been a dream come true and we’re excited to enter this new era together, launching these new plans for our future in the year of Vertigo’s 20th Anniversary.”


Pascal Breton, President of Federation said:

Vertigo is one of the first and only British production companies to have brilliantly succeeded in reinventing itself to adapt to the highly competitive theatrical market, and then to drama series with strong international potential. Along with Lionel Uzan, we have been talking to James and Allan for many years, which is why we are very happy to finally welcome them into the large family of Federation producers.

Vertigo’s expertise in pre-financing and international distribution, paired with that of Federation in London, Los Angeles and Paris, should enable both Federation and Vertigo to jointly offer even more ambitious series and films to the British and global market and international platforms, and these productions will be better funded by attracting top creators, producers and independent projects.”


Founded in 2013, The Federation group, led by Pascal Breton and co-directed by Lionel Uzan, is a global force in the creation, production, financing and distribution of original productions (TV series, films, kids’ programs, documentaries) for platforms and broadcasters. As the first producer to work with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in Europe, Federation was created to be a ‘federation of talents’, striving to integrate the most creative producers in Europe. Today, the group has a total of 20 subsidiaries or associate production companies based in Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Cologne, London, Brussels, and Tel Aviv. Among the group’s top titles are The Bureau, In Treatment, Baby, Hostages, Marseille, Bad Banks, Deadly Tropics, Your Honor, The Twelve, Undercover, A French Case, Around the World in 80 Days, Les Bleus 2018: at the Heart of the Russian Epic, Mediterranean, Find Me in Paris and Ollie & Moon.