Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine goes Nordic

Metronome buy extends its footprint to 23 companies

LONDON -- Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Group continued its global land grab Tuesday, announcing an $88 million acquisition of Nordic production company Metronome Film & Television, one of the largest groups in Scandinavia.

With 15 companies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the U.S., Metronome Film & Television AB -- purchased from Schibsted ASA -- is one of the Nordic region's biggest production groups, making local versions of such formats as "Deal or No Deal," "Big Brother" and "Idol" as well as local shows including "Luxury Trap," "Clash of the Choirs" and "Stars in the Castle."

"This is a landmark deal for Shine Group," Murdoch said. "The Metronome companies are peerless in their home territories."

The acquisition extends Shine's footprint to 23 companies across three continents, and comes after recent expansion in Germany and Australia. It also confirms Shine, which owns the Reveille Group, as one of a growing group of producers with local networks in multiple territories, a strategy that has well-served such operators as Fremantle and Endemol.

Metronome's existing senior management team, headed by CEO and president Mats Alders and COO Michael Porseryd, will remain at the company under the deal, which was financed by a combination of private investment and undisclosed debt placement led by JPMorgan.

"It has always been my intention to expand the existing Shine Group companies with the finest creative and entrepreneurial minds from the key markets we have identified, and each Metronome company more than meets this criteria," Murdoch said. "Their addition gives us an unrivaled presence in a market with a well-earned reputation as the birthplace of so many successful international formats."

Alders said Murdoch's Shine Group has "creativity at its heart" and is "expansive and visionary."

He added: "We share similar creative and company cultures. Shine Group has a large presence in markets where we are not currently active and vice-versa, hence we also complement each other geographically."

Murdoch founded Shine Group in 2001 after leaving BSkyB as GM. Last year the company acquired Reveille Prods. and launched Shine Pictures in partnership with New Regency. Earlier this year it announced the launch of establishment of startup companies Shine Germany and Shine Australia, headed by renowned executives Axel Kuehn and Mark and Carl Fennessy, respectively.
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