TC production company Tinopolis acquires Firecracker Films

tinopolisTinopolis, one of the UK’s largest independent TV production and distribution companies, has acquired Firecracker Films, a producer of factual and factual entertainment programming in the UK and US. The transaction follows quickly on the acquisition of Passion Distribution and further underpins Tinopolis’ strategy of widening its creative and geographical reach. Firecracker’s strengths in factual and popular factual programming are significant additions to Tinopolis’ portfolio of companies and programmes.

Firecracker was founded in 2002 by Mark Soldinger to focus on documentary programming with international sales potential and is firecracker-logonow one of the fastest growing factual and factual entertainment producers both in the UK and the US achieving organic revenue growth of over 150% in 2012. Firecracker works with all major broadcasters in the US and the UK and has created shows including Thelma’s Gypsy Girls (C4),The Daredevils (C4), Family Guns (Nat Geo), Unsafe Sex in the City (BBC3) and Last Chance Driving School (AETN) as well as one of Channel 4’s biggest rating hits of the last decade, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and in the US, Big Fat American Gypsy Weddings (TLC). Firecracker is one of only a few UK Indies that has successfully organically expanded into the US and now generates as much turnover from the US as it does from the UK. Firecracker also has a valuable branded content division that produces innovative audio visual content directly for brands such as Diageo, Nissan, Heineken, Motorola and GSK.

Firecracker’s management and creative team will remain with the business and Mark Soldinger, CEO, Sue Oriel, Managing Director, Jes Wilkins, Head of Programmes, and Jeremy Groman, Creative Director will all become shareholders in the Tinopolis Group.

Tinopolis, which delisted from AIM in 2008 through a management buyout backed by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has grown its turnover from £50m in 2006 to over £130m today and developed into a global media company comprised of several leading independent businesses. The range of programmes produced extends to documentaries and factual, sport, comedy, flagship current affairs series, critically-acclaimed dramas and high rating entertainment formats, as well as human interest, history and science. Tinopolis is responsible for successful television shows such as Question Time, Traffic Cops, Hell’s Kitchen and the London Paralympic Games coverage.

Ron Jones, Executive Chairman of Tinopolis, commented: “In Firecracker we have acquired a company that is operating at the cutting edge of television on both sides of the Atlantic. Tinopolis continues to build a group of companies that has the range and financial strength to provide the best creative ideas to our customers around the world. Firecracker is an ideal partner for us. Its programmes are already sold in over 100 territories around the world and our distribution platform will help to support its continuing development.”

UK, Carmarthenshire & London

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