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Oz’s Cordell Jigsaw, Zapruder’s merge

Prod'n company to be country's biggest indie

SYDNEY — Australian mid-size production companies Cordell Jigsaw and Zapruder’s Other Films have merged to create the country’s biggest privately owned producer.

Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder will be one of the most prolific providers of local skeins with 14 shows on air, including “The Gruen Transfer,” pubcaster ABC’s highest-rated show, and “Mega Truckers,” a hit for paybox A&E Australia.

The merger gives the company the heft it needs to take on rival production giants.

“How do you compete with companies like Shine, owned by News Corp., Endemol, owned by Mediaset or Fremantle, owned by RTL?… That’s who we’re competing with and that’s without their format books and relying only on our own ideas,” said Cordell Jigsaw’s Nick Murray.

The answer was to band together so they have stronger cross-pollination of development ideas, more easily retain staff and have a positive knock-on effect for international distribution, per Andrew Denton, topper of Zapruder’s Other Films.

Cordell Jigsaw launched a distrib arm last year and now, with local hit documentary series “Go Back to Where You Came From” and the rights of “The Gruen Transfer” recently returning to Zapruder’s, it has a strong slate.

“What we have is a really interesting catalog of finished shows and formats that we’ll be taking out to market at MipTV in April for the first time,” Murray said.

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