EXCLUSIVE: Wheelhouse Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in Den of Thieves, the production company behind Netflix’s Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour special.
Brent Montgomery’s firm has invested in the live-event, scripted and non-scripted company, which was established by Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager.
Den of Thieves has produced the MTV VMAs for 13 years and is exec producing the upcoming People’s Choice Awards on E!. It has previously worked on The Gong Show on ABC, the Peabody Awards, and Ken Jeong’s Netflix special You Complete Me, Ho.
The investment will allow the company to bolster and broaden its programming slate on live-event, concert and awards shows as well as experiential marketing via multi-platform original series and features, both in scripted and unscripted. It will also pursue deals with high-profile talent across entertainment, sports and culture. It will also work with Wheelhouse Labs, Wheelhouse’s marketing arm and in-house creative agency on branded content.
The deal was brokered by Ed Simpson, chief strategy officer at Wheelhouse Group, and Evolution Media Capital. No financial terms were disclosed.
Montgomery said, “What Jesse and Evan have accomplished is beyond extraordinary. From music and comedy to cultural events that galvanize audiences, the creative and logistical challenges inherent in their media phenomena are massive and unrelenting – and of course, they make it look easy, which goes to their immense talent, expertise, and amazing partnership. At a time of so much disruption in our industry, uniting with Den of Thieves not only allows us to scale instantly across the content and event landscape, it also offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with key brands, something we believe will be an integral force in media going forward. Our deal marks a meeting of the minds on multiple levels – from content for TV, streaming and feature film to events and brand experiences – and it is undeniably a major coup for Wheelhouse.”
Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic added, “When Evan and I launched Den of Thieves 13 years ago, it was to create and produce content that was personally inspiring to us. We have since grown and evolved in an organic way, and the opportunity to join forces with Brent and his incredible team is a perfect match for Den of Thieves.”
Prager added, “It’s an exhilarating time for our company and a very exciting time for content creators. We can’t wait to see what Wheelhouse and Den of Thieves will accomplish together.”