There’s nothing to UK newspaper reports over the weekend that Time Warner is eyeing the independent TV producer as its next acquisition, I’m told. “There’s nothing to it and nobody’s aware of any offer to come,” one insider tells me. Time Warner is completing its £100 million ($159 million) takeover of Brit TV production company Shed Media. All3Media produces teen soap Hollyoaks for Channel 4 and ITV crime drama Midsummer Murders, which has sold to 204 countries. If Time Warner was to buy All3Media, then the combined Shed/All3Media would become the UK’s biggest independent production company with combined revenues of £316.7 million ($502 million), according to trade mag Broadcast. Shine Group, the UK’s biggest independent producer with turnover of £265 million, would be pushed into second place. Both All3Media and Time Warner declined to comment.
Paris-based Zodiak has bought an 8% stake in UK independent TV producer Shed Media. Another 2% more and Zodiak could stymie Time Warner, which is trying to buy Shed. Cyrte Investments, the investment company of Endemol-founder John De Mol, sold its 7.8% Shed stake to Zodiak on June 1. But the deal has only just come to light in a Stock Market footnote to another Shed investor, Aviva, selling 6% of its shares.
Last month, Zodiak closed a deal to acquire U.K.’s RDF Media Group, already creating the third largest independent TV production company in the world.
Time Warner could pay up to £90 million ($135 million) for Shed. The studio wants Shed, which makes Supernanny for America, because it wants to expand overseas, replicating the success it has had in America with hit shows such as The Wire and Gossip Girl – both of which have exported well. It recently hired ex-Tiger Aspect managing director Andrew Zein to buy independent TV producers and grow Warner Bros’ UK production business.