In a deal that had been rumored for some time, News Corporation announced Monday (2/21) that it is buying Shine Group for 415 million pounds ($673 million). Shine is headed by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch.
“This is a unique and exciting opportunity for us. Shine is a leader in the global television production business with a proven track record of developing hit shows and new formats worldwide,” said News Corporation COO Chase Carey. “We have every confidence that Shine will be an important part of the expansion strategy for our worldwide TV operations.”
Elisabeth Murdoch, who was once an executive at FX in the US and then BSkyB in the UK, struck out on her own in 2001 to create Shine Group, which is now the largest independent TV production studio in the UK. It also produces programming in several other countries. She cut a big deal in 2008 to acquire Reveille for a price approaching $200 million.
“In a rapidly consolidating global TV industry, this alliance uniquely provides the conditions in which Shine Group can continue to lead and prosper. News Corporation is the partner that enables us to maintain our aspiration to be best in class across all our sectors, and prepares and equips us for future growth. Shine shares News Corporation’s long-standing belief in creative excellence and ambitious expansion. I could not be happier or more proud that from such modest beginnings Shine will join such an extraordinary group of companies,” said Shine Group CEO Elisabeth Murdoch of the deal to sell her company.
For his part, her father is happy to have her back at the family company. “Shine has an outstanding creative team that has built a significant independent production company in major markets in very few years, and I look forward to them becoming an important part of our varied and large content creation activities. I expect Liz Murdoch to join the board of News Corporation on completion of this transaction,” said News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch.
RBR-TVBR observation: People will, of course, look at the family relationship and raise an eyebrow about this deal. Shine Group, though, is an extraordinarily successful television production company. Liz Murdoch certainly proved herself as a TV production executive and Shine will add to News Corporation’s international business.