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Endemol acquires Tiger Aspect, Darlow Smithson from IMG

Endemol has acquired producers Tiger Aspect, Darlow Smithson and Tigress from IMG in a deal reported to be worth US$50 million.

The international producer and distributor has bought the three production companies from US media, sports and fashion group IMG in a move that will significantly boost its drama, kids and factual output.

Tiger Aspect produces series including Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Robin Hood and Charlie and Lola, while Darlow Smithson and Tigress produce documentaries including Thriller in Manila, Miracle on the Hudson and Touching The Void.

The three companies will retain creative freedom and will be backed by the Endemol UK management team, while their content will be distributed by Endemol’s international sales operation.

Ynon Kreiz, chairman and chief executive of Endemol Group, said: “This acquisition enhances our global business in key areas such as drama and further strengthens our program distribution activities, which will now include one of the UK’s best programming libraries. It also further expands our creative output across multiple genres including factual and kids programming.”

Endemol has had an acquisitive 18 months with the purchase of La Lola producer Underground Contenidos and Flavor of Love-producer 51 Mind Entertainment and it has been long rumoured to be moving into the kids business following the hire of Kreiz, who made his name at Fox Kids Europe, the precursor to Jetix.

IMG put the companies up for sale last month in a surprise move; it is now expected to concentrate on its sports and fashion divisions.