Shine snaps up U.K. production trio

Murdoch transforms herself into TV mogul

LONDON — Elisabeth Murdoch has transformed herself into one of Blighty’s leading independent TV producers by paying around £65 million ($127 million) for a trio of U.K. production companies.

Murdoch’s shingle, Shine, has acquired Kudos Film & Television, Princess Prods. and Firefly Film & Television.

The new group consists of companies that most recently reportedly total annual revenue of $186 million, elevating it into the ranks of the British super-indies.

Murdoch, who has made no secret of her British expansion plans, said: “We share a creative culture, a passion for making great television, and I believe there is significant potential for these combined businesses both domestically and internationally.”

Shine, 15% owned by Sony, which is helping to fund the deal, last reported annual revenue of $51 million.

Combo is understood to have paid around $67 million for Kudos, whose key shows include “Spooks” (known as “MI-5” Stateside) and “Life on Mars”; under $39 million for Princess, makers of Channel 4 comedy show “The Friday Night Project”; and $19.6 million for Firefly, the minnow in the pack.

In common with the model operated by All3Media, the daddy of Blighty’s super-indies, each company will keep its identity and operate independently with its existing executive team.

Kudos is Shine’s biggest catch. It has attracted acquisition attention from other big U.K. indies including RDF and All3Media.

All three outfits will be acquired via a mix of cash and shares.

No job losses are expected.