Warner Bros.-Shed Media deal

Dealmakers Impact Report 2010

Ronald Goes
Warner Bros. International Television Distribution
A native of the Netherlands, Goes (pronounced “hoos” in Dutch) rose through the RTL network in the ’90s before a three-year stint as CEO at Talpa Media (“Dating in the Dark”). Last August, Warner Bros. named him EVP and head of intl. TV production in WBITD’s U.K. office, commissioning Goes to set up production companies in key territories and identify and acquire international formats to produce for the worldwide marketplace.
KEY DEAL: In August, Goes struck a deal to buy 55% of “Supernanny” production company Shed Media for roughly $156 million. The pact gives Time Warner a four-fer, as Shed itself had earlier subsumed Ricochet Media, Twenty Twenty (“World’s Strictest Parents,” “The Choir”) and Wall to Wall (“Who Do You Think You Are?”) to supplement Shed productions in the U.S. and U.K. Goes cited the U.K. as an important television market “with a robust, thriving local production sector. … The acquisition of Shed provides Warner Bros. Television Group with immediate scale in U.K. production and complements our existing television production and distribution businesses.”

Nick Southgate
Shed Media plc
A worthy beneficiary of “Supernanny” success, Southgate was managing director of Ricochet in 2005 when Shed acquired the company and the hit program, naming Southgate chief operating officer in 2007 and CEO last year. Heading the U.K.-based production company, Southgate oversaw Shed’s expansion during recession, migrating “Who Do You Think You Are?” to the U.S. via Lisa Kudrow and counseling Jerry Seinfeld’s return to TV in “The Marriage Ref,” both for NBC Universal. Shed’s slate upped revenue $19.5 million over last year, with the U.S. gross eclipsing the U.K.’s.
KEY DEAL: Southgate says an upside of turbulent times is more realistically priced deals. After Shed rejected a management buyout and private suitors, Southgate shook hands with Warner Bros. in August to purchase a 55% share of Shed for $156 million. Southgate said the move expands international reach, a key to future growth. After effusively praising Shed’s strategy, he told a British publication, “Tell me to shut up if I’m beginning to sound like Barack Obama.”
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