By Nellie Andreeva
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - International TV producer Endemol has acquired British production companies Tiger Aspect, Darlow Smithson and Darlow Smithson's Tigress from IMG.
The pact, said to be in the neighborhood of $50 million, comes a month after global sports and modeling agency/entertainment company IMG Worldwide announced that it was looking at potentially offloading Tiger Aspect and Darlow Smithson.
The move is part of Endemol's aggressive acquisition strategy of the past couple of years that has expanded the company's entertainment portfolio.
Tiger Aspect was arguably the top entertainment property under IGM's umbrella. The company, one of the U.K.'s best-known producers, is behind such hits as "Billy Elliot" and kids' animation series "Charlie and Lola," as well as comedy "Diary of a Call Girl," which ran on Showtime, dramas "Robin Hood" and "Vicar of Dibley" and reality series "Make Me a Supermodel" for Bravo and "Cook Yourself Thin" for Lifetime.
Producer Darlow Smithson is known for such documentaries as the theatrical feature "Touching the Void" and "Miracle on the Hudson," which aired on TLC.
Tigress Prods. specializes in wildlife, science and adventure documentaries.
Tiger Aspect, Darlow Smithson and Tigress will now report to Endemol's U.K. management, and the products of the three companies will be handled internationally by Endemol Worldwide Distribution and Endemol Group's format sales operation.
IMG, best known for its roster of top sports and modeling talent, has been scaling back its presence in the entertainment content area.
"These companies have never been synergistic with IMG's core business," said Chris Davis, IMG executive vice president and CFO. "We believe they are an excellent fit with Endemol's global network of companies ... IMG will continue to focus its resources on its exceptional global core capabilities."