Unscripted

Tinopolis buys “Gypsy Weddings” indie Firecracker

UK super-indie Tinopolis has acquired Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (pictured) prodco Firecracker Films, just days after finalizing a deal to buy Passion Distribution.
December 6, 2012

UK super-indie Tinopolis has acquired Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (pictured) prodco Firecracker Films, just days after finalizing a deal to buy Passion Distribution.

While no official price has been put on the deal, multiple UK news reports are valuing the acquisition at around £25 million to £30 million (US$40.3 million to US$48.3 million).

In a statement, Tinopolis executive chairman Ron Jones said: “In Firecracker we have acquired a company that is operating at the cutting edge of television on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Firecracker is an ideal partner for us. Its programs are already sold in over 100 territories around the world and our distribution platform will help to support its continuing development.”

The companies say there will be no changes made to Firecracker’s management and creative team as part of the takeover, adding that Firecracker founder and CEO Mark Soldinger, MD Sue Oriel, head of programs Jes Wilkings, and creative director Jeremy Groman will all become Tinopolis Group shareholders.

Soldinger said: “We have been conscious for some time of the requirement for a financial and operational partner that will allow us to sustain Firecracker’s rapid growth over the long term.

“Tinopolis’s existing capabilities and its forward strategy immediately marked it out as our partner of choice and we look forward to working with Ron Jones, Arwel Rees and other senior executives from the wider Group on developing the opportunities ahead.”

Founded in 2002, Firecracker has found success in its Gypsy Weddings franchise, which evolved from a single doc that originally aired on Channel 4 in the UK. In the U.S., the indie makes Big Fat American Gypsy Weddings for TLC.

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