‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Got Talent’ IP Owners Speak at Mipcom – Deadline

The Lord of the Rings franchise can reach Marvel’s over $6 billion scale and star wars, according to the man who negotiated the sale of the intellectual property to the Swedish group Embracer, who revealed new information about the agreement.

Thomas Dey, CEO of ACF Investment Bank, at Mipcom Cannes the Lord of the Rings is one of six “elements of intellectual property of this magnitude on the planet”, the potential of which will now be unlocked by Embracer. Embracer has picked up the film, video game, board game, merchandising, theme park and stage production rights related to The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises over the summer as well as corresponding rights to other Middle-earth-related literary works licensed by Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, which have yet to be explored. The timing was good, a few weeks before Amazon’s rings of power TV series launched.

“I think this asset has the ability to reach [Marvel and Star Wars’] scale,” Dey said during a Mipcom keynote. “Someone just needs to believe that it can be as ambitious as possible.”

While financials of the deal, which was completed a few weeks ago, were not disclosed, Dey joked: “We let bidders come in and bid, gave indicative prices on our thoughts, then [Embracer] halved that.

Embracer will likely focus on gaming, which CEO Lars Wingefors says is the 15,000-employee public company’s “strongest growth and monetization area,” as he said alongside Dey. The company also bought The mask owner of Dark Horse Comics late last year.

“Having 10,000 developers in the group means we are thinking about what we can do with IP in the future and that justifies the value for us,” he added. “And then we have a number of incredible opportunities to do ‘transmedia’ projects. We can help creatives achieve their goals and dreams. »

Dey also brought to light new information about the deal, one of the largest M&A deals signed in recent years.

When Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of the Saul Zaentz Company, first approached ACF, the deal was so secretive that “we were questioned in the dark and didn’t know what the asset was,” a- he declared.

“He was so disguised when he walked through the door,” he added. “This is a long-established asset that has passed through many people’s hands and we had to make sure we understood what we had and didn’t have.”

Dey pointed to the immense complexity of a deal for a franchise that has had multiple owners and said some “grey areas” are still being resolved.

“It’s in the nature of the beast that a lot of deals are made with high-fives and handshakes,” he added. “People had assumed certain things along the way, so it wasn’t all crystal clear. In America, you can sort these things out in court, but even then you don’t get full clarity.

Dey said the deal reflects a major shift in the world of TV and film from “peace and escapism” to “an immersive experience,” and Embracer is well positioned to take advantage of that.

“Metaverse is being discussed, but the game has already created one – you disappear for 10 hours and are active in that environment,” he added. “So I think we’ll be looking at this entertainment over the next decade and looking for other ways to do it. Audiences are demanding more than the ‘lean back’ approach.

ACF has negotiated several major agreements over the years, including the sale of The crown Left Bank producer at Sony. He recently oversaw the $125 million securitization of Simon Cowell’s To have talent franchise.

Kimberly B. Nguyen