The maker of Shortland Street has been bought by overseas
broadcasting giants in a $1 billion deal.
British-based All3Media, the parent company of South Pacific
Pictures that has produced Kiwi favourites Shortland Street,
Go Girls, Nothing Trivial and Outrageous Fortune, was
purchased by television giants Discovery Communications and
Liberty Global on Friday.
A spokeswoman for All3Media said it would be "business as
usual" for its New Zealand operations following the sale,
that had a $1.08 billion price tag.
All3Media bought into South Pacific Pictures in 2003 and last
year purchased the remaining shares of
its founder and chairman John Barnett.
Mr Barnett said last night the sale could help New Zealand
programming make its way on to the world stage.
Mass media and entertainment company Discovery Communications
produces the Discovery Channel and a range of other
non-fiction products and had a revenue of $6.41 billion last
Communications company Liberty Global is the largest
international cable television company in the world and is
chaired by America's largest landowner, billionaire John
Mr Barnett said the purchase was good news because it
provided a new market for their shows and would not affect
the day-to-day operations of South Pacific Pictures.
The new joint venture of Liberty Global and Discovery
Communications meant there was a ready-made market for sale
of rights to cable TV channels for sale of shows for "second
runs". These are shows that had already been sold to
broadcasters for their first run.
Despite remaining chairman on South Pacific Pictures Mr
Barnett said he did not stand to get a big payment from the
Liberty owns more than 200 channels and 14 territories and
its holdings include UK firm Virgin Media. All3Media
productions include Midsomer Murders, Shameless, Skins and
All3Media is the largest independent production group in the
UK with headquarters in London and also has strongholds in
Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.
All3Media chairman and co-founder Steve Morrison said: "This
new partnership will enable All3Media to expand further
through multiple avenues of growth around the world."
The company will continue to operate under its own name with
its own executive management team, and its existing creative
operating model as a standalone, independently managed
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of
The sale was big international news in the telecommunications
and television sector, with media coverage by the LA Times,
the Wall Street Journal and Hollywood Reporter over the
- Morgan Tait of the New Zealand Herald