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Corporate News 20.05.

In perhaps 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.


We'll be following up on this story over the coming months.


10 May 2007                                                                                                                     


acquisition of hammer film productions limited


  • Cyrte 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
  • Simon Oakes and Marc Schipper, ex-Liberty Global Inc, to head management team
  • Guy East and Nigel Sinclair of Spitfire Pictures to join board as Hammer plans return to film and television production

LONDON, 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.

Spitfire 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.

The newly 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.

Hammer 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.

Hammer is 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 English language.



Simon 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.”

Guy East quote “It’s great to be back in business with Hammer again. Now is a perfect time to reinvigorate the brand.”


Notes to Editors

Oakes and Schipper were former senior executives with Chellomedia, the Europe-based content division of Liberty Global Inc.


About Cyrte Investments

Founded in 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.


About Spitfire Pictures

Spitfire’s 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.

Nigel 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 Machines”.


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Site launched Sunday 8th August 1999