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HONG KONG – NBC Universal International Television Production has bought out the remaining shares in Australia’s Matchbox Pictures.

NBC U bought an initial stake in the firm which spans TV drama, comedy, documentary, young adult television and feature films in 2011.

The studio said that Matchbox will continue to be run as a separate entity headed by MD Chris Oliver Taylor and creative Penny Chapman, Tony Ayres and Kylie Washington. It said that full ownership positions Matchbox for future growth, will help it connect with the whole of the NBC U group and enable it to expand in scripted and unscripted content.

Founded in 2008 by Chapman and Ayres, Matchbox has produced shows including “The Slap,” (pictured) The Straits” and “Nowhere Boys.”

NBC U’s other international production labels include Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Lucky Giant, Chocolate Media and a JV with Working Title, all in the UK, and Lark Productions in Canada.