News Corporation plans to acquire international TV production house Shine Group for £415 million ($A667 million).
The deal will bring Shine chairman and chief executive Elisabeth Murdoch back into the fold of the media conglomerate she left in 2001 and will give her a place on the News Corp board alongside her father and News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch.
In a statement, Elisabeth Murdoch said the deal would underpin Shine’s growth. “Shine shares News Corporation's long standing belief in creative excellence and ambitious expansion,” she said. “I could not be happier or more proud that from such modest beginnings Shine will join such an extraordinary group of companies."
Shine produces popular programs such as MasterChef and The Biggest Loser and launched an Australian arm, led by Carl and Mark Fennessy, last year. Earlier this month, it renewed its deal with Channel Ten to produce MasterChef.
News Corporation and Shine Group will continue to negotiate the final terms of a long-form stock purchase agreement, which will be subject to an independent fairness opinion and Shine Group board approval, before the acquisition is completed.
Shine Group will report to News Corp’s deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer, Chase Carey. in a statement, he said: “We have every confidence that Shine will be an important part of the expansion strategy for our worldwide TV operations.”
Rupert Murdoch said: “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."