Endemol buys Darlow Smithson, Tiger Aspect

Endemol has announced that it has acquired UK prodcos Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) and Tiger Aspect from IMG Media. Tiger Aspect's Andrew Zein calls it a 'dream deal' and DSP's John Smithson says it's 'an exciting opportunity.'
November 23, 2009

Endemol has announced that it has acquired UK prodcos Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP), Tiger Aspect and Tigress from IMG Media. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

According to the deal, Tiger Aspect, Tigress and DSP will retain creative freedom with financial backing from Endemol’s UK management. Endemol will globally represent the portfolio of all three companies via Endemol Worldwide Distribution and Endemol Group’s format sales operations. The deal brings Endemol three companies with strong track records in comedy and drama (Tiger Aspect), documentary and docu-drama (DSP) and natural history (Tigress).

‘Endemol is the real deal – a fully functioning global creative business,’ said Tiger Aspect MD Andrew Zein in a statement. ‘They understand and appreciate what we do and how we do it. For us this is the dream deal we thought would never happen. We’ve found the ideal home.’

‘This is an exciting opportunity for both Darlow Smithson and Tigress,’ said DSP/Tigress executive chairman John Smithson. ‘We can enjoy creative freedom whilst having all the benefits of being part of a global media player.’

‘We’re extremely excited about working with three of the most successful and creative production companies in the UK,’ offered Tim Hincks, CEO, Endemol UK. ‘They represent a collection of some of the best creatives in the business and are behind a dazzlingly wide range of genres. We want to back them and give them the freedom to further grow, both in the UK and around the world.’

IMG EVP and CFO Chris Davis said that while DSP and Tiger Aspect ‘have never been synergistic with IMG’s core business… We believe they are an excellent fit with Endemol’s global network of companies and we wish them, their managements and employees great success in the future. IMG will continue to focus its resources on its exceptional global core capabilities including further expansion into large new high growth markets.’

IMG announced in mid-October that it had hired the Raine Group ‘to explore strategic alternatives for Tiger Aspect and Darlow Smithson.’

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.