LONDON–June 1, 2006- LAWFUEL – Press Release Service-IMG Media and Tiger Aspect Productions, the multi award-winning London-based independent production company, today announced that they have reached agreement for IMG Media to acquire Tiger Aspect Group, including the subsidiaries Tigress (adventure and wildlife producer), TTP (Washington DC-based US production company) and Tiger Aspect Pictures.
IMG Media , a division of IMG – the world’s premier Sports, Entertainment and Media Company – will finance the acquisition entirely with capital from parent company IMG.
The Tiger Aspect acquisition is part of IMG’s strategic growth plans. It will also enable IMG Media to become for the first time, a multi-genre market leader. IMG Media’s subsidiaries TWI, the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports programming, and high-end factual specialists Darlow Smithson Productions (Touching the Void, I Shouldn’t Be Alive, Seconds From Disaster, The Falling Man), put the company at the forefront of global high-end factual production.
Tiger Aspect brings with it key strengths across a wide range of programming including animation and children’s, comedy, drama, entertainment, and a broad range of factual output. It also produces wildlife programmes (through Tigress) and has a feature film unit which has produced hits ranging from Billy Elliot to Kevin and Perry Go Large.
For Tiger Aspect the agreement enhances its position as one of the top global multi-genre production companies, giving it access to new opportunities via a greater global presence, intellectual property within the group and new technologies.
Key to the acquisition is Tiger Aspect’s outstanding international reputation as a creative independent producer with a proven track record of producing hits across all genres, both within the UK and overseas. The company has a growing annual output of more than 220 hours and an annual turnover of more than GBP 50m, and, in addition to its London HQ and Bristol office, it has an established production base on the east coast of America.
Tiger Aspect’s programme portfolio includes cutting-edge comedy The Catherine Tate Show and comedy favourites The Vicar of Dibley and Mr Bean. Currently in production are new series of BBC hits Charlie and Lola and detective drama Murphy’s Law, the Catherine Tate Show and BBC one’s prestige new drama series Robin Hood. Tiger Aspect has also carved out a reputation for popular but critically-acclaimed factual series like the award-winning The Monastery, Howard Goodall’s music series , A Place in.., and A Seaside Parish .
Ted Forstmann, Chairman and CEO of IMG, said: IMG today is in an exceptionally strong financial position. As a result of unprecedented internal growth, we are now able to make investments in any of the areas in which we do business. We already have a major presence in worldwide distribution, rights management, and New Media. The Tiger Aspect acquisition will immediately help us grow content production and distribution. We welcome Tiger Aspect and its people into the IMG global family.”
Alastair Waddington, IMG Media Executive Vice President and COO, said:” We are delighted to acquire Tiger Aspect, one of the most exciting independent production companies around. Not only does it have a spectacular track record in producing popular hits around the world, but it also has an enviable reputation for attracting creative talent of the highest calibre and has managed to assemble a top-notch cast of producers and executive producers. Its acquisition realises IMG Media’s long-held ambition to become a multi-genre producer, and we look forward to Tiger Aspect’s continued success and growth, while maintaining its distinctive identity as a producer of top quality programming.”
Tiger Aspect Founder and Chairman Peter Bennett-Jones said: “This is a red letter day in the distinguished history of Tiger Aspect. We are immensely proud of our output and this deal will enhance our ability to make many more memorable programmes for broadcast in the UK and around the world through IMG’s extensive international structure. It will also open up new media opportunities and introduce new markets and creative relationships. We are all thrilled to hitch our wagon to the IMG star, to borrow from Emerson, and relish the future opportunities the new ownership brings to us.”
IMG is the world’s premier Sports, Entertainment and Media Company. IMG is a diversified global business with two major business segments: IMG Sports & Entertainment, and IMG Media. IMG employs over 2,300 people in 30 countries. Forstmann Little & Co. purchased IMG in 2004.
IMG Sports & Entertainment includes: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; client representation in golf, tennis, baseball, broadcasting, hockey, football, European football, rugby, cricket, motorsports, coaching, Olympic sports and action sports. In addition, IMG Academies are the world’s largest and most advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport training and educational facility, delivering world-class sports training experiences to over 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult and professional athletes each year.
IMG Media, which includes our content production subsidiaries TWI and Darlow Smithson Productions, is recognized as a global leader in the delivery of traditional and new media content and services, with Internet, broadband and mobile expertise, transforming how audiences access and interact with content. IMG Media produces and distributes over 9,000 hours of sports, documentary, docu-drama, entertainment, and popular factual content annually, over multiple platforms across 200 countries, including award-winning television and radio programming. It also represents the broadcast rights to many of the world’s premier sporting events and has the world’s biggest sports archive with more than 200,000 hours of footage.
More information about IMG is available at www.imgworld.com and www.darlowsmithson.com
About Tiger Aspect Productions:
Tiger Aspect Productions is recognised as one of the UK’s most successful and prolific independent television producers. The company’s portfolio includes animation, comedy, drama, entertainment and factual programming and spans all UK channels.
Audience-delivering, critically acclaimed and award winning programming for all the UK’s broadcasters is our stock in trade.
Successes across the full range of channels and genres include:
— Comedy – (BBC TWO) The Catherine Tate Show and (BBC ONE) Vicar of Dibley.
— Drama – (BBC ONE) Murphy’s Law, Robin Hood (in production) (Channel 4) Teachers.
— Factual – (BBC TWO) A Seaside Parish, The Monastery – an American version of this programme, 40 Days and 40 Nights, due to screen next year, is currently in production through Tiger’s Washington Office. (Channel 4) Men In White.
— Entertainment – (Five) Make Me A Supermodel. (BBC ONE) Great Big Bid. (Channel 4) My New Best Friend.
— Animation – (Cbeebies) Charlie & Lola (ITV1) Animated Mr Bean.
Tiger Aspect has also expanded beyond the UK and the company’s creative output now enjoys an increasingly high profile in the USA through its commissions for major stateside networks.
Our programming is built on a hot-bed of the best on offer in UK talent. The company’s belief in nurturing and supporting creativity on every level means that Tiger consistently attracts the UK’s ultimate in on-screen, writing and production talent. This has resulted in further brand extension with Tiger enjoying global recognition through film, (Tiger Aspect
Pictures – Billy Elliot), theatre (Our House – Madness Musical) and wildlife programming (Bristol-based Tigress Productions).
All these constituents combined with on-going development and reversioning of Tiger programmes and formats for international broadcasters and producers make sure that Tiger Aspect remains a major player in today’s highly competitive production sector. More information about Tiger Aspect is available on www.tigeraspect.co.uk