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Tuvalu Media management buys out Sony, co-founder exits

The management of Tuvalu has bought out Sony Pictures Television and taken control of the Dutch production company.

SPT acquired the firm in 2008 and management has now partnered with finance house Karmign and retaken majority control of the business.

Taco Zimmerman will remain with the firm as managing director while its cofounder Roel Kooi will depart following the deal. Kooi is in charge of the Association of Independent Television Producers in the Netherlands and is expected to remain in the content business.

Speaking to TBI this morning, Zimmerman said that the deal has been six months in the making and closed last Thursday.

“We had a productive six years with Sony, but the time had come to move on,” he said. “With Karmign’s backing we are a fully independent producer and can move into the areas we want and expand internationally.”

Speaking about Kooi’s exit, Zimmerman said: “The management deal and change in shareholding allowed Roel to move on. We’ll miss him, but respect his decision.”

Tuvalu had already absorbed SPT’s Intellygents and although that production banner no longer exists after its founders moved on (as recently reported in TBI), its formats sit with Tuvalu.

SPT, which still has a base in Amsterdam, will continue to work with Tuvalu on the buzzy space format Milky Way Mission and will be selling it internationally. The show, in which celebrities undergo ultra tough space training, is made by Tuvalu for local pubcaster Ned1.

Tuvalu’s other key titles include Cover Me and Maestro.

Sony had owned a 60% stake in Tuvalu and has now been completely bought out. It declined to comment on the deal.