Hat Trick Productions, the UK production company behind Showtime’s Matt LeBlanc-fronted comedy Episodes and forthcoming Anna Paquin-fronted drama Flack, is eyeing a sale after appointing advisers Stella EOC.
Founder Jimmy Mulville, who set up the company in 1986 with Denise O’Donoghue and Rory McGrath, has appointed the advisory firm, which has handled deals for Sony Pictures Television and Red Arrow, to sound out investment opportunities.
He told the Sunday Times that it was similar to “bringing in an estate agent to value your house,” adding that he had no intention of leaving the business. “I have it on strict orders from my wife never to retire. You’ll have to beat me out of here with a stick,” he added.
The company has been on a recent roll, particularly with the success of Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls and long-running satire Have I Got News For You, as well as Alison Brie-fronted period drama Doctor Thorne. Pre-tax profits at the company grew from £640,000 to £917,000 for the year ending 2016 with turnover jumping from £17.6M to £28.7M.
Muville and his wife Karen currently own 90% of the production company, having bought it back from venture capital firm Kleinwort Capital, which it had previously sold a stake to in 2003. ITV was thought to have been interested in acquiring a stake in the company in 2012.