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Arrow Media has become the third UK indie to be acquired by French company Asacha Media Group.

Arrow co-founder John Smithson is stepping back from the specialist indie, which has been running since 2011, while his co-founders and co-managing directors Tom Brisley and Iain Pelling will continue to run the company. Arrow and Asacha will have first look on Smithson’s future projects.

Asacha has been building a UK presence in recent years, first acquiring Death in Paradise producer Red Planet Pictures and then unscripted outfit Wag Entertainment.

With Arrow, it now has a major presence in specialist factual. The indie has been operating since 2011 and recently made BBC2’s Brian Cox: Seven Days on Mars, Nat Geo/Disney+ show Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Discovery’s See No Evil.

Brisley and Pelling will continue to have a minority stake in Arrow.

Brisley described Asacha as “dynamic and fleet of foot” and said the group’s “excellent relationships across Europe” would help Arrow expand its footprint across the continent.

Asacha co-chief executives Gaspard de Chavagnac and Marina Williams hailed Arrow’s “market-leading position in the fast-growing factual space, along with its strong leadership and ambitious plans for the future”.

The execs added: “Bringing them into our group makes us a major player in English language factual across key markets including the US and UK.”

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