NBCUniversal Takes Full Control of Australia's Matchbox Pictures

The Slap Screengrab Melissa George - H 2012

The Slap Screengrab Melissa George - H 2012

Chris Oliver Taylor, Penny Chapman and Tony Ayres will continue to run Matchbox, which produces BAFTA-winning “The Slap” and Hulu series “The Straits.”

NBCUniversal International Television Production has taken full control of Australian production company Matchbox Pictures, producers of Hulu's critically-acclaimed drama The Straits and the BAFTA-winning The Slap, which NBC is adapting as a miniseries for the U.S..

NBCUniversal was already an equity partner in Matchbox, having taken a stake in the company back in 2011. The new ownership arrangement will not change management at Matchbox. Chris Oliver Taylor will stay on as managing director, company founders Penny Chapman and Tony Ayres will continue to run the company's scripted production business and Kylie Washington the unscripted.

“Matchbox is one of the most exciting and dynamic production companies we have encountered,” said Michael Edelstein, President, NBCUniversal International Television Production, annoucning the deal.  “Penny Chapman, Tony Ayres and Kylie Washington have a fantastic creative track record and are incredibly well respected. We are excited by what the future holds and are keen to help their programs reach audiences around the world.”

Matchbox launched in 2008 and develops and produces a full range of programming from TV drama and comedy to documentaries and feature films.

The Matchbox acquisition is part of a broader strategy at NBCUniversal to set up an international network of local production companies. These include U.K. shingles Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Lucky Giant and Chocolate Media as well as a joint venture with Working Title Television and Lark Productions in Canada.