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Emerging Oz powerhouse buys NZ prodco Greenstone

Australian producer-distributor Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder has acquired New Zealand prodco Greenstone TV.

John HarrisCJZ launched in early 2012 as a merger of Cordell Jigsaw and Zapruder’s Other Films in a bid to snatch back some of the impetus of global super indies such as Shine Group and FremantleMedia in Australia, and has now Highway Patrol producer Greenstone.

The move comes soon after CJZ installed former SBS television chief Matt Campbell as CEO.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not discussed but CJZ said: “Joining forces creates a powerful platform to continue delivering original programming in a market dominated by European and US formats.”

Nineteen year-old Greenstone is behind reality shows such as Highway Patrol, The Zoo, Coastwatch and Serious Crash Unit, plus documentaries and drama programming. They will now sit alongside CJZ formats such as the Gruen franchise and International Emmy-nominated Go back to Where You Came From.

Following the deal, Greenstone founder John Harris (above) will remain with the company in an advisory capacity, with general manager Bryan Hall, head of production Andrea Lamb and financial controller Glenda Paterson will remain at the helm.

Greenstone is currently producing seven returning shows and new ob doc series Coastwatch Australia and Showtime.

“It felt like the right time to make this move,” said Harris. “I have a high regard for the CJZ team and the new relationship will allow Greenstone to continue to grow in its own right. We share similar values, high standards and a deep respect for our production staff. It‘s a perfect fit.”

CJZ creative director Michael Cordell added: “New Zealand is one of the great creative hothouses for new programming and bold programming. The size of the market encourages innovation and lateral thinking.

We’re thrilled to be joining creative forces with the fantastic team at Greenstone to develop new shows for the international market across all genres. Plus the Kiwis do brilliant pinot noir.”

Horizon Advisory advised CJZ on the transaction.