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ITV pays $27m for The Garden

UK commercial broadcaster ITV is buying London-based indie The Garden for at least £18m (US$27.4m).

Zodiak Rights

ITV said today that it would pay £18m upfront for the company, with further cash payments depending on the company’s performance. The Garden made an operating profit of £2.5m last year.

The deal is the second time The Garden founders Nick Curwin and Magnus Temple have sold a company of theirs, following Shine’s buy-out of their prodco Firefly (later rebranded as Dragonfly) in 2007.

The pair subsequently left to start The Garden in 2010 and have since been nominated for Baftas for Channel 4 series 24 Hours in A&E and The Audience. The company has also produced Keeping Britain Alive, a series about the NHS, which is currently airing on BBC2.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment has been distributing programmes and formats from The Garden prior to this buy-out and recently sealed deals in Germany, France and Canada for reality series The Audience, in which a group of people follow an individual around for a week in order to solve their personal problems.

Kevin Lygo, MD of ITV Studios, said: “The Garden has grown rapidly and achieved an enviable reputation for outstanding delivery of innovative, ambitious documentary series for the BBC and Channel 4. A key focus for ITV is to develop hit programmes that we can then export globally, and The Garden already has an impressive track record.”

Curwin and Temple said in a statement: “We have a trusting, creative and fruitful relationship with ITV Studios, having previously joined forces to bolster our development efforts. We have been talking for some time about how to extend this partnership to mutual strategic advantage. Being part of ITV will help us grow further in the UK and, in particular, to achieve our international ambitions. We will be working more closely with ITVS whilst continuing to concentrate as hard as ever on our important relationships with Channel 4 and the BBC.”


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