Sally Miles’ UK-based Passion Distribution exclusively distributes content for U.S. broadcasters and producers including Scripps Network International, Sundance Channel, OWN, The Weather Channel and World of Wonder. Growing indie producer/distributor Tinopolis has acquired the four-year-old company to expand its international reach. In 2011, Tinopolis acquired Hell’s Kitchen producer A. Smith & Co. and L.A. & DC-based Base Productions. It also owns factual producer Mentorn Media, sports producer Sunset + Vine and drama outfit Daybreak. Under the terms of the acquisition, Tinopolis’ existing distribution arm Mentorn International and its 2,500 hours of programming including the first two seasons of Ricky Gervais’ An Idiot Abroad, will be folded into Passion and overseen by Miles.
John Brenkus and Mickey Stern’s BASE Prods. has become the latest U.S. independent production company in the unscripted TV space to be acquired by a large European company. UK’s Tinopolis Group has bought BASE, which has offfices in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, as well as its catalog that includes such programs as Sport Science, Fight Science, Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files and Police POV. The pricetag is said to be around $75 million, a little less than the $95-$100 million Tinopolis recently paid for another U.S. independent company, A. Smith and Co. Both deals have a very similar structure. Like A. Smith, Base will keep its independence, continuing operations from in its facilities in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, with Brenkus and Stern signing multi-year contracts to stay at the helm of the company. In addition, the BASE principals will become significant shareholders and members of the Tinopolis Group management team. Brenkus will have a seat on the Tinopolis Group’s North American Board, and Stern will be a member of the Board of the parent company.
A. Smith & Co Prods Merges With UK-Based Tinopolis Group For $100M Deal Creating Reality TV Powerhouse
Insiders are speculating the deal is worth upwards of $100 million:
London / Los Angeles – June 28, 2011 – The Tinopolis Group and A. Smith & Co. Productions announced today that the two entities have joined forces by bringing A. Smith & Co. and its decade of success developing and producing some of the most notable unscripted television programming seen around the world under the Tinopolis Group, creating a transatlantic television powerhouse. A. Smith & Co. will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity based in Los Angeles joining and working with Tinopolis Group’s other companies which include television production entity Mentorn and sports television producer Sunset + Vine. The announcement was made today by Ron Jones, Executive Chairman of Tinopolis Group, and Arthur Smith, Founder and CEO of A. Smith & Co., who will join the Tinopolis Board of Directors and continue to lead the company alongside his partner and company President, Kent Weed.
Under this agreement A. Smith & Co. becomes the leading North American television production entity within the Tinopolis organization with the ability to tap into the company’s resources on a worldwide basis. This transaction brings together the financial resources and expertise of Tinopolis, one of the UK’s leading producers of media and programming, and its primary investor, private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, and A. Smith & Co.’s leadership which has pioneered genres and delivered ratings hits such as “Paradise Hotel”, “The Swan,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Trading Spaces,” “Kitchen Nightmares,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” and “Pros vs. Joes.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: EFA Reveals Debut-Feature Nominees; ‘Rising Star’ Sold To Nordic Territories; More
EFA Unveils FIPRESCI Nominees For Best First Feature
The European Film Academy has unveiled nominees for the European Discovery 2013 FIPRESCI Prize. The award is presented annually as part of the European Film Awards to a young and upcoming director for a first full-length feature film. This year’s nominees are Sweden’s Eat Sleep Die by Gabriela Pichler, Mikael Marcimai’s Sweden/Norway/Ireland/Finland co-production Call Girl, Italian actress-turned-director Valeria Golino’s Cannes Un Certain Regard title Miele, Germany’s Oh Boy from Jan Ole Gerster, and Spain’s The Plague by Neus Ballús. The nominated films soon will be submitted to the 2,900 EFA Members to select the winner. The prize will be awarded December 7 at the European Film Awards Ceremony in Berlin.
Shout! Acquires EuropaCorp. Titles
Shout! Factory has picked up U.S. rights to the EuropaCorp. films, The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec, directed by Luc Besson, and A Monster In Paris by Bibo Bergeron. Shout will roll the films out on a cross-platform release including home entertainment, VOD, SVOD and television. The César-winning Adèle Blanc-Sec is an adaptation of the Jacques Tardi comic book series and was released in France in 2010. Louise Bourgoin and Mathieu Amalric star. Shark Tale director Bergeron’s Monster is a CG-animated adventure based on his own original story about an inventor, his best friend and a monkey who inadvertently create a monster with a talent for music. Vanessa Paradis, Sean Lennon, Adam Goldberg, Danny Huston, Bob Balaban, Catherine O’Hara and Jay Harrington form the voice cast.
Scott Free London Lines Up ‘The Fishing Fleet’
Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London has acquired film rights to the Anne de Courcy novel The Fishing Fleet. The company will develop the project as a feature with Scott Free’s Liza Marshall producing. The book is a social history of husband hunting by young British women in India. The deal was negotiated by Blake Friedmann’s Conrad Williams and Carlo Dusi for Scott Free London.