Television

IMG acquires production firm Tiger Aspect

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MUMBAI: IMG Media has announced that it will acquire the London based production firm Tiger Aspect Productions.

The acquisition includes Tiger Aspect's subsidiaries Tigress (adventure and wildlife producer), TTP (Washington DC-based US production company) and Tiger Aspect Pictures.

IMG Media, a division of sports, entertainment and media firm IMG, 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 says that its 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 it at the forefront of global high-end factual production.

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.

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 movie unit which has produced hits ranging from Billy Elliot to Kevin and Perry Go Large.

Key to the acquisition is Tiger Aspect's 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 50 million pounds. 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 comedies like The Catherine Tate Show, The Vicar of Dibley, Mr Bean. Currently in production are new series of BBC shows Charlie and Lola and detective drama Murphy's Law. Tiger Aspect has also done factual series like The Monastery.

IMG chairman and CEO Ted Forstmann 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."

IMG Media executive VP and COO Alastair Waddington said, "Tiger Aspect's 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."

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