the most significant move of the last decade, Hammer
Film Productions has been sold to a new group of private
investors, led by the billionaire John De Mol.
Significantly the press release (which we have reprinted
below in its entirety) makes mention of a $50 million
seeding fund which is to be used to raise money for
future production. The deal has been in development for
over a year, and eagle-eyed Hammer fans might have
noticed the inauguration of a new company - Hammer Film
Holdings in January of this year, marking the beginning
of the transfer of the company's holdings.
following up on this story over the coming months.
10 May 2007
hammer film productions limited
Investments BV, of which John de Mol, one of the
world’s most successful producers is a major
investor, backs purchase of Hammer Horror Group
Oakes and Marc Schipper, ex-Liberty Global Inc, to
head management team
East and Nigel Sinclair of Spitfire Pictures to join
board as Hammer plans return to film and television
May 10, 2007 – A European consortium, headed by Dutch
based Cyrte Investments BV, has acquired the legendary
UK based Hammer Film Productions Limited, including its
295 title library for an undisclosed sum. The new
management team is headed by Simon Oakes and Marc
Schipper, formerly of Liberty Global Inc.
Pictures founders Guy East and Nigel Sinclair will join
the board as non-executive directors. Los Angeles based
Spitfire Pictures has entered into a first look
development and production pact with Hammer.
constituted Hammer group will have shareholders equity
and facilities in excess of approximately $50m. It is
the intention to leverage this initial capital in the
near future to provide a significantly increased
production financing capacity.
will return to film and television production after more
than 30 years with an active development programme
designed to emulate the best traditions of Hammer. The
new management plans to aggressively reinvigorate the
Hammer brand for a new generation of horror-lovers
utilizing web and mobile technologies, whilst retaining
Hammer’s significant heritage.
best known for its gothic horror productions in the ‘50s
and ‘60s, when it was the most innovative producer in
the horror genre, enjoying global box-office success,
and making the Hammer brand synonymous with horror.
Hammer was responsible for the classic movie series of
Dracula, Frankenstein, and Quatermass, forever
imprinting its “Hammer House of Horror” slogan into the
Oakes quote: “We have been working on this deal for
almost a year now, and are very proud at having brought
together this incredibly talented group of people in
combination with Hammer’s heritage. Hammer is a great
British brand – we intend to take Hammer back into
production and develop its global potential.”
quote “It’s great to be back in business with Hammer
again. Now is a perfect time to reinvigorate the brand.”
Schipper were former senior executives with Chellomedia,
the Europe-based content division of Liberty Global Inc.
2000 under the name of Talpa Capital, and based in
Naarden, the Netherlands, Cyrte Investments begun as
family office for the private wealth of
media-entrepreneur John de Mol. The company now employs
more than 20 professionals. Merchant bank NIBC holds a
25% interest in Cyrte’s management company. Dutch
Pension Fund PGGM has committed EUR 500 million to the
Cyrte Fund 1 C.V. which invests worldwide in listed and
unlisted companies within the Telecom, Media and
Technology (TMT) sectors.
current projects include “Keith Moon” to star Mike
Myers, “Moral Hazard “ to be directed by Phil Noyce and
“Snitch” which is set up at New Line. In production are
“Addicted” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and a
documentary feature about The Who, following Spitfire’s
Grammy Award winning “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan”
directed by Martin Scorsese.
Sinclair’s and Guy East’s long list of credits include
“Sliding Doors”, “The Wedding Planner”, “K-Pax”, “The
Quiet American”, “Iris”, “The Life of David Gale” and
the box office smash hit “Terminator 3, The Rise of the