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27 October 2020

Zinc Media has completed a £4m fund raise to help fuel growth as the market recovers post Covid.  The funds were conditionally raised in a fundraising round in the City which closed on 27 October.  

Mark Browning, CEO of Zinc Media, says: “Covid-19 has increased the pace of change in commissioning and opened up new opportunities for Zinc.  We are now having discussions about all sorts of opportunities that weren’t available six months ago.”  

Zinc Media Group operates in Aberdeen, Belfast, Glasgow, London and Manchester with an emerging Bristol base.  The Group announced back in September that it would also explore targeted M&A as it looks to scale the Group in the years ahead.

“This investment provides a bulwark against further Covid related disruption, even if it extends into 2021, and it means we can now drive forward our growth plans.  New markets for content creation are emerging and we see opportunities for further revenue diversification as we  expand the kind of content we make both in Zinc TV’s labels and in Zinc Communicate,” adds Mark Browning.  “Zinc has a strong UK footprint in the Nations, Regions and London along with a sizeable proportion of revenues from outside the domestic market.”

Zinc Media Group is home to five leading factual TV production brands – Blakeway, Brook Lapping, Films of Record, Tern Television and the recently-launched Red Sauce. Zinc Communicate, its agency division producing TV and digital content for advertisers, publishers, media owners and rights holders, houses Zinc’s new Branded Content Division, which launched in June. It partners brands with Zinc’s programming ideas to develop new revenue models alongside Zinc’s TV labels.  

This new investment, to help drive growth in 2021, follows a previous fundraising round, which attracted £3.5m of new funds in January this year.  That allowed the Group to invest in several senior creative appointments; launch a new Branded Content division, headed by Dominic de Terville, launch a new factual entertainment and formats label Red Sauce, headed by Tom Edwards; build a new state of the art post production facility; move its London operations to a new office; and strengthen its corporate infrastructure.

“This new investment is a huge endorsement of the progress we have made since January and will allow us to realise our ambitions in 2021.” says Mark Browning.

“Demand for our labels’ programming is extremely strong, both domestically and internationally, and we are getting a lot of traction in the US.  Our strategy for 2021 includes diversifying our revenues; exploring IP and format rights; developing our radio and audio business and expanding our Nations and Regions profile.  Exceptional creative talent is at the heart of this strategy.”

Zinc’s stable of indies continued to win new commissions during the current pandemic including recommissions for the BBC of Beechgrove Garden, Britain’s Lost Masterpieces and The People’s News, plus recommissions from Channel 5 of History of Britain with Tony Robinson, Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun and The World’s Funniest Ads with Jason Manford.   

Recent programme highlights include: Brook Lapping’s The Curious Life of…. (6 x 45 min for Smithsonian Channel) and Cuba: Castro vs the World (2 x 60 min for ARTE France/BBC); Blakeway’s Tutankhamun in Colour (1x 60 min for National Geographic/BBC Four/FTV) and Henry VIII: Man, Monarch, Monster (3 x 60 mins for Channel 5/Motion Content Group); Tern Television’s Inside The Zoo (8 x 60 mins for BBC Scotland) and Emergency Rescue: Air, Land & Sea (10 x 60 mins for More 4).

The £4m of new investment funding was raised through a new share issue. The closing of the fund raise is conditional upon all necessary resolutions being passed by Zinc Media’s shareholders at an upcoming general meeting in November 2020.