Time Warner has agreed to acquire Shed Media, the UK TV production company behind the Supernanny show, for £100m.
The US media giant is offering 115p cash a share, which is a 37.7 per cent premium to Shed Media's closing price on Tuesday.
The deal will will trigger big payouts for the four most senior bosses at Shed, who own 35 per cent of the business between them. They will be paid 50 per cent in cash for their stakes; the remainder will be invested in the new business through shares and loan notes. Eileen Gallagher, who founded the independent firm in 1998, has a share of the business worth £7.4m.
Shed revealed it was in discussions with Warner Brothers, a subsidiary of Time Warner, in June. The latest talks are the third potential takeover approach that Shed, which also produced the TV series Footballers' Wives, has received in three years.
Earlier this year, Nicholas Southgate, the chief executive of Shed, failed to get support for a private-equity backed takeover. Warner Bros, which wants a presence in the UK TV market, will hold a 55.75 per cent stake in Shed. The acquisition is being conducted by a scheme of arrangement, which requires the support of 75 per cent of investors.
Having gained the backing of Shed's management, the AIM-listed TV company said the takeover had already received the support of 73.3 per cent of its shareholders. Ronald Goes, the head of international TV production at Warner Bros, said: "The acquisition of Shed provides Warner Bros Television Group with immediate scale in UK production and complements our existing television production and distribution businesses."
Shed owns the rights to its programme library worldwide, which it distributes through its in-house unit, Outright.