Shine agrees to News Corp takeover

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has unveiled a £415 million deal to buy the TV production company set up by his daughter.

London-based Shine Group, which is behind MasterChef and The Biggest Loser, has agreed to sell the business to News Corp, with both parties signing a non-binding letter of intent.



Shine owns several production companies including Kudos, which makes Spooks, Life On Mars, Hustle, and Ashes To Ashes.



If the deal is approved by the regulatory authorities, Shine's chairman and chief executive Elisabeth Murdoch will join her father on News Corp's board.



News Corp, which owns Fox News and the Sun and Times newspapers, is currently bidding to take full control of broadcaster BSkyB.



But it is waiting for a decision from Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has said he intends to refer the acquisition to the Competition Commission but has given the group more time to deliver undertakings.



Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp, 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."



Ms Murdoch, who founded Shine in 2001, said: "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."



After the deal is completed, Shine Group will report to Chase Carey, News Corp's deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer, who described the deal as "a unique and exciting opportunity".



He said: "We have every confidence that Shine will be an important part of the expansion strategy for our worldwide TV operations."



Shine has 25 production companies across the world, including award-winning genre specialists such as UK-based factual programme-maker Dragonfly and market-leading independent US producer Reveille.



In the last two years the group has successfully established international start-up companies in Germany, France and Australia.

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