Shine adds France to expanding Group

Footprint now at 24 companies across three continents

LONDON -- Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Group said Monday it had hired ex-Endemol France chief creative officer Thierry Lachkar to be chief executive of its newly created division Shine France.

Shine, which two months ago announced the $88 million acquisition of Scandi-based production factory Metronome, and also this year launched Shine-branded production hubs in Australia and Germany, is now extending its strategy of building production bases in key international territories, backed by proven creative talent.

The recent growth-spurt sees Shine Group's footprint now standing at 24 companies across three continents, including Shine Reveille in the U.S.

Lachkar, who was also chairman of Mark Burnett Productions France, a joint venture with Endemol, joined the Netherlands-based production giant as chief creative officer and international development chief of Endemol France in 2000.

During his tenure he oversaw formats including "Secret Story," "Wheel Of Fortune" and "The Farm," as well as working with Shine distribution arm Shine Reveille International on "Identity."

Murdoch said Lachkar was Shine's "number one target" in France.

"Our ambitious rollout plan for 2009 is designed to bring respected, creative, entrepreneurial talent to complement the [Shine] group and lead its establishment in key territories," she said. "Thierry was our number one target in France, has all these virtues and more and I can think of no one better to head our drive into this key market."