U.K.’s Shed looks for buyer

'Supernanny' shingle hikes profit by 24%

LONDON — U.K. shingle Shed Media, makers of “Supernanny,” reported a 24% hike in pre-tax profits for last year as it revealed that talks on a potential sale were “advancing.”

Pre-tax profits grew from £7.9 million ($12 million) to £9.8 million ($14.9 million) in 2008 as revenue increased by £1.1 million ($1.7 million) to £32.1 million ($49 million).

In a tough year for the TV biz in the U.K., Shed said that growth in its U.S. activities had been strong.

“Supernanny US” was commissioned for a sixth season and new shows included “Who Do You Think You Are US” and “The Marriage Ref.”

Said CEO Nick Southgate: “Against a backdrop of the worst advertising recession in a generation and, in the BBC, a public broadcaster looking for across-the-board savings in program costs, Shed performed extremely well.”

In terms of program hours, the shingle’s U.S. business increased by 56%.

Negotiations are continuing with takeover suitors — a buy-out consortium comprising Bowmark Capital, Darwin Private Equity and members of the management team.

Four directors including Southgate own around a third of the business, valued at around £68 million ($103 million).

Shed owns production entities Wall To Wall, Twenty Twenty and Outright.

Southgate added: “2010 has started well. We currently have 64% of targeted production revenue commissioned and 68% of targeted IP gross profit secured.

“Whilst the U.K. commissioning environment remains challenging, we see some improvements in the global market for our IP and we expect to continue to capture market share in the U.S.”

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