Equity debt financing for ground-breaking nature documentary


In 2002, the creative minds behind Argo Venture’s capital markets subsidiary, Argo Capital Solutions, set up a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, to create and distribute five major TV and movie productions. Their first venture saw Stefan Beiten and Nikolaus Weil structure and raise an equity debt financing with a total volume of € 6 m for the creation of nature movie classic DEEP BLUE. The most ambitious documentary film project about oceans ever also went on to become the most successful German film abroad in 2004.

DEEP BLUE, the movie version of BBC’s natural history series The Blue Planet, garnered a then astonishing global box office revenue of more than $ 30 m. Due to its overwhelming success, this landmark project established the market for big screen documentary films.

The incredibly comprehensive presentation of images from the world’s oceans, gathered by 20 specialist camera teams at more than 200 locations worldwide over a period of 5 years takes the audience on a journey and literally plunged its breathless viewers into the spectacle of the seas. From Australia’s coral reefs to the bleak shores of the Antarctic, the film features footage of sea creatures never seen before and offers an unprecedented glimpse into a mysterious world that covers, after all, 71 % of the Earth’s surface.

Beiten and Weil’s Greenlight Media, who by then had made a name for itself as an international production and distribution company for high-quality animation and documentary films for television and cinema, also distributed DEEP BLUE.

Argo Capital’s financial advisory and structured finance services cover all industries but benefit, in particular, from the team’s superior knowledge of the international film production sector, with independent Greenlight handling production and licensing matters.