Boat Rocker buys U.S. prodco Matador Content

The deal for the Lip Sync Battle producer marks the Toronto company's first acquisition of a U.S. production company.
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Boat Rocker Media on Thursday continued its acquisition hot streak with its first U.S. purchase, L.A.-based producer Matador Content.

Matador produces hit format Lip Sync Battle (Paramount Network), Boy Band (ABC) and What Would Diplo Do? (Vice). It will continue to be led by founders Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin. Terms of the cash and stock transaction were not disclosed.

Through the partnership, the companies will target “high-priority” IP and utilize Boat Rocker’s access to capital to accelerate the speed to market for Matador’s slate of original projects, a release on the deal said. The announcement noted that the deal opens growth opportunities for Matador and benefits both companies’ business partnerships.

Matador’s other production credits include The Who Was? Show and Fight World (Netflix), Master of Arms (Discovery Channel), Banksy Does New York (HBO), The Rape of Recy Taylor (The Orchard) and Lip Sync Battle Shorties (Nickelodeon).

This most recent deal is Boat Rocker’s third high-profile acquisition of 2018. In January, Boat Rocker acquired the kids and family entertainment division of U.K.-headquartered FremantleMedia. With the deal, Boat Rocker integrated the Fremantle division into its global distribution arm, Boat Rocker Rights. Four months later, it acquired a majority stake in Toronto’s Insight Productions. That deal came around six months after Boat Rocker had acquired another of Canada’s largest unscripted prodcos, Proper Television.

Across Boat Rocker’s portfolio of companies and assets, it now employs more than 600 people throughout offices in Toronto, New York, L.A., London, Ottawa and Hong Kong. The company is led by co-executive chairs David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg and CEO John Young.

“While we have seen meaningful success in the U.S. market with some of our own original series, we believe that, together with Matador, we will make an even bigger mark in very short order,” said Fortier, Schneeberg and Young of the Matador deal.

For Boat Rocker, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Stikeman and Elliott served as legal counsel on the transaction, while TD Securities served as an advisor. Meanwhile, for Matador, CAA and Evolution Media Capital advised on the transaction, while Sidley Austin LLP and Hansen, Jacobson, Toberman, Heller and Newman served as legal counsel.