NBCUniversal International Television Production has taken full ownership of Australian indie Matchbox Pictures, with the prodco continuing to operate as a distinct entity.
The deal will allow Matchbox to grow its unscripted and scripted output, have the ability to explore opportunities internationally across the NBCUniversal family, and see the continuation of NBCUniversal offering a global infrastructure and distribution network for the prodco’s content outside of Australia and New Zealand, according to NBCUniversal.
Matchbox joins other companies within the NBCUniversal family, including Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Lucky Giant and Chocolate Media, along with a joint venture with Working Title Television and Lark Productions in Canada.
Led by managing director Chris Oliver-Taylor (pictured above), Matchbox’s creative team is headed up by Kylie Washington on the unscripted side and founders Penny Chapman and Tony Ayres on the scripted end.
Matchbox was founded in 2008, and its unscripted work includes Formal Wars, The Swimmer and Sex: An Unnatural History. NBCUniversal originally acquired an equity stake in the firm in 2011.
“Matchbox is one of the most exciting and dynamic production companies we have encountered,” said Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Television Production. “Penny Chapman, Tony Ayres and Kylie Washington have a fantastic creative track record and are incredibly well-respected.”
“The fact that NBCU have decided to fully own the company is testament to both the wonderfully talented staff here at Matchbox and NBCU’s confidence in Australia’s creative industry, of which we are immensely proud to be a part,” added Oliver-Taylor.