Insiders are speculating the deal is worth upwards of $100 million:
London / Los Angeles – June 28, 2011 – The Tinopolis Group and A. Smith & Co. Productions announced today that the two entities have joined forces by bringing A. Smith & Co. and its decade of success developing and producing some of the most notable unscripted television programming seen around the world under the Tinopolis Group, creating a transatlantic television powerhouse. A. Smith & Co. will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity based in Los Angeles joining and working with Tinopolis Group’s other companies which include television production entity Mentorn and sports television producer Sunset + Vine. The announcement was made today by Ron Jones, Executive Chairman of Tinopolis Group, and Arthur Smith, Founder and CEO of A. Smith & Co., who will join the Tinopolis Board of Directors and continue to lead the company alongside his partner and company President, Kent Weed.
Under this agreement A. Smith & Co. becomes the leading North American television production entity within the Tinopolis organization with the ability to tap into the company’s resources on a worldwide basis. This transaction brings together the financial resources and expertise of Tinopolis, one of the UK’s leading producers of media and programming, and its primary investor, private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, and A. Smith & Co.’s leadership which has pioneered genres and delivered ratings hits such as “Paradise Hotel”, “The Swan,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Trading Spaces,” “Kitchen Nightmares,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” and “Pros vs. Joes.”
Ron Jones, Executive Chairman of Tinopolis Group, stated: “Arthur, Kent and all of A. Smith & Co. are great additions to our company. Their experience launching global brands and television programming, and their vision of what programs need to be will ensure that program buyers and audiences will be well served for years to come. Tinopolis has a strong reputation for producing quality programs across a range of genres and this new strategic relationship will support all our businesses as we continue to grow.”
“We have been fortunate to have been approached by a number of entities offering strategic partnerships, but until now none presented the benefits and synergies that we have found in our new partners at Tinopolis and Vitruvian Partners,” said Smith. “Both Kent and I are truly excited about this new relationship as it allows us to expand aggressively while ensuring that we will have even more resources to continue to produce the high quality and successful content. We have a phenomenal team in place, and now look to expand on our already existing relationship with Mentorn as well as harness our experience in sports programming via Tinopolis’ respected sports production unit Sunset + Vine.”
A. Smith & Co. had previously partnered with Mentorn to co-produce “Paradise Hotel” for FOX and “The Streets of America: The Search for America’s Worst Driver” for Travel Channel and thus have a solid working shorthand that will be valuable as the two companies begin to work even more closely together. This transaction also creates opportunities for both Sunset + Vine and A. Smith & Co. to collaborate on additional productions by harnessing the two companies’ mutual experience and success in the sports category, and will strengthen Pioneer Productions’ existing U.S. business.
About Corporate Finance in the U.K. and Greenberg Traurig and William Morris Agency in the U.S. served as advisors to A Smith & Co. on the deal.