Television

TWI to acquire independent production firm Darlow Smithson

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MUMBAI: Sports content producer and distributor TWI has acquired the London based factual independent production company Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP).
TWI, will finance the acquisition entirely with capital from parent company IMG. The acquisition significantly expands TWI’s non-sports production output, enabling it to become a market leader in high quality factual programming, as part of its continuing growth strategy.

For DSP, the agreement enhances its position as one of the top global factual production companies and gives access to new opportunities and new technologies.

Key to the acquisition is DSP’s outstanding worldwide reputation as an innovative, factual programming leader, delivering ground-breaking documentaries, series and docu-dramas with a growing annual output of more than 100 hours and an annual turnover of £20 million. In a global peer poll just released, DSP has been named as one of the seven most notable companies in the world in non-fiction production, selected for its inspirational and trendsetting programmes.
DSP’s programme portfolio includes multi episode returning series I Shouldn’t Be Alive (Channel 4, Discovery US), Seconds From Disaster (NGC/NGCI) and Channel 4 documentaries The Falling Man, Blitz: London’s Firestorm and The Somme. DSP’s Touching the Void was the UK’s most successful ever theatrical documentary.

TWI senior VP production and business development Alastair Waddington said, “We are delighted to acquire such a prestigious company as Darlow Smithson Productions, whose reputation in the factual arena inspires admiration all over the world. The respect that DSP commands from global broadcasters and clients is reflected in its growing stature, increased turnover year on year and more than 25 international awards to date. DSP harnesses some of the industry’s most creative and technical talent, and we look forward to its continued success and growth, while maintaining its distinctive identity as a producer of top quality programming.”

DSP executive chairman and creative director John Smithson said, “This is an exciting opportunity for us at the right time in the growth of our company. The Darlow Smithson name remains - same people, same creativity, same editorial standards. But going forward, it will bring much more. TWI and IMG Media will provide us with an extensive international structure to help us grow DSP, including areas like new media where it has significant experience, strengthening our relationships with clients and enhancing our creative development.”

IMG chairman and CEO Ted Forstmann said, “IMG is already a major player in worldwide distribution, rights management and multi-platform exploitation including new media, and the acquisition of Darlow Smithson Productions will enhance the company’s global assets and help us achieve our growth ambitions. Going forward, we are prepared to invest in development and production of content, and intend to pursue additional innovative business partnerships in order to maximise those goals.”

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