The studio’s TV arm has completed its acquisition of one of the UK’s largest independent producers. Warner wanted Shed Media, which makes Supernanny for America, because it wants to expand overseas, replicating the success it has had in America with shows such as The Wire and Gossip Girl – both of which have exported well. Shed will remain an independent producer. Outright Distribution, its TV sales company, will be folded into UK-based Warner Bros International Television Production. But the Outright brand will remain without any job losses.
Shed Media, the UK producer which Time Warner wants for £100 million, has announced a 22% rise in first-half profits to £6.2 million ($4 million). Turnover was also up 27% in the first six months to £59 million. This broke down into £25.5 million from its UK production business, £26.2 million from U.S. production and £7.3 from programmes sales. Chairman Heather Rabbatts singled out the launch of the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? and the continued success of Supernanny in the States as factors behind Shed Media U.S. growth. The Time Warner/Shed Media deal looks set for mid-October.
As predicted, Warner Bros is set to buy Brit TV production company Shed Media, maker of such programmes as Supernanny and The Choir, for around £100 million ($159 million) to boost its presence in the key market. Warner Bros, part of Time Warner, says the price represented a premium of around 73% from July 29, the last business day before the start of the offer period. Warner is buying a 56% stake in the company from Shed’s management. WB says it has received undertakings from around 73% of Shed shareholders backing the deal. Shed says the deal will enable it to grow further, with the backing of a large international group. The studio must have wanted Shed badly. Back in June, the talk was of Warner offering £75 million for Shed. Managers were understood to be holding out for £90 million. Shed executives are now set for a windfall. Exec Alex Graham will earn £12 million from the deal, while Shed co-founder Eileen Gallagher could earn £7.5 million. Graham has already made £20 million from selling his independent TV company Wall to Wall to Shed in 2007. Who says you can’t make money from the entertainment business?