1:14 AM PDT 3/29/2016 by Alex Ritman and Georg Szalai
The firm, whose projects have included recent hit ‘The Witch,’ feature documentary ‘Shut Up and Play the Hits’ and Channel 4 doc ‘When Bjork Met Attenborough,’ has been building out its U.S. operations.
Vice Media, led by CEO Shane Smith, has expanded its British footprint, acquiring a majority stake in U.K. film, TV and digital production banner Pulse Films.
Financial details weren’t disclosed.
The companies have already collaborated on the feature documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, about LCD Soundsystem’s final show, and had a strategic partnership, unveiled in 2013, to co-produce U.S.-focused projects. The deal, which comes just weeks after Vice announced it would be launching its Viceland channel in the U.K. on pay-TV broadcaster Sky, bolsters its programming capabilities across digital, mobile and linear.
Pulse, which has been building out its U.S. operations thanks to the partnership, is also behind ITV doc The Cruise Ship and Channel 4 doc When Bjork Met Attenborough. It was also behind last year’s Sundance winner and recent box-office horror hit The Witch.
“Pulse are one of the few companies in the world that consistently produces content we admire,” said Andrew Creighton, Vice Media’s co-president. “Thomas [Benski] has built an incredible team and company based around making stories that have a point of view and style that actually move audiences. Vice’s acquisition of Pulse is a natural step in a relationship that has been enormously productive for both companies. We couldn’t be more excited to take our partnership to the next level.”
Added Benski: “What Shane [Smith], Eddy [Moretti], Andrew [Creighton] and Spike [Jonze] have built will give me and my team the perfect platform to take our business to the next level. Having known them as long as I have, I know we share an ambition to do things differently while maintaining the highest creative standards.”
Pulse Films, which has offices in L.A., New York, Paris and Berlin, was founded in 2005 by Benski and Marisa Clifford.