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.
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.”