Shine, Reveille ink dotted line

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Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine group became the latest U.K. independent producer to achieve "super indie" status Thursday. The company has closed it's $200 million purchase of Reveille, the U.S. production shingle behind ABC hit "Ugly Betty."

The long-anticipated deal pushes Shine's value toward $500 million, putting it alongside other "super indies" including All3Media, IMG Media, TalkbackThames and Endemol. Last month at a conference in London, Murdoch said that being a mid-sized indie was "an uncomfortable place to be."

Murdoch founded Shine in 2001 after leaving BSkyB, where she had run the movie channels. Shines counts as its investors Sony, BSkyB and private equity firm 3i but Elisabeth holds a controlling 58% stake.

The purchase of Reveille gives Murdoch a big foothold in the U.S. market. She said last month that the U.S. is "the main growth area" for TV and that "not to play there is to yield tremendous value."

Set up by Ben Silverman in 2003, Reveille has had success with scripted shows such as "The Tudors," the U.S. version of "The Office" and reality fare including "The Biggest Loser."

Expansion has been part of Murdoch's strategy for some time. In 2006, she acquired three indies at once — "Life on Mars" producer Kudos, "Friday Night Project" home Princess Prods. and factual producer Firefly — for a combined £65 million ($128 million).
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