West 175 Media Group Inc
24 November 2000
For Immediate Release
24 November 2000
WEST 175 MEDIA GROUP INC:
UK TV PRODUCTION JOINT VENTURE WITH
UNION PICTURES LIMITED
West 175 Media Group Inc ('West 175'), the media group listed on AIM, and
Union Pictures Limited ('Union Pictures'), the UK based TV production company,
announce that they have formed a joint venture company to develop, produce,
and distribute TV programmes in the UK and for sale worldwide.
Under the terms of the agreement, the new joint venture company - called Union
175 - will be 50% owned by Union and 50% owned by West 175.
The joint venture anticipates that West 175 will either provide the funding of
the £2m to cover production costs over the next three years or alternatively
procure the funds from third party sources, allowing the new partnership to
compete at the top level in the market place. Union Pictures brings to the
venture an experienced management team with industry expertise. West 175 will
also move its head office team to Union 175's office in Soho.
The new venture provides West 175 with immediate entry into UK TV programme
production. By joining an established production set-up West 175 has entered
the market in a position which would otherwise take years to develop.
Union Pictures has produced successful and award-winning programmes across a
broad spectrum of TV production from drama through documentaries to lifestyle.
These range from the BAFTA-winning An Ungentlemanly Act, the critically
acclaimed The Crow Road and the hugely successful ten year run of MasterChef.
Union Pictures' expertise include film editing, commercials and TV production,
every legal facet of film and TV financing including acquisition, distribution
Union 175 will not only be producing programming for the UK market but also
for sales worldwide. Union 175 will work alongside West 175's existing US
production unit, West 175 Productions, and its New Zealand production company
Ninox 175, an award winning documentary maker, with four awards from the
recent TV awards in New Zealand.
West 175 is a worldwide media company specialising in all aspects of
broadcasting, programme production, merchandising, publishing and live events.
Its activities are concentrated in the USA, UK and New Zealand and it is the
producer of the successful MasterChef USA programme hosted by celebrity and TV
chef Gary Rhodes.
The independently-owned Union Pictures has been producing television
programmes since 1989. Current commissions include 'Orrible, a comedy drama,
written by Johnny Vaughan and Ed Allen, and MasterChef 2001, both for the BBC,
documentaries including Psychopath, the first in Channel 4's Science of Crime
series and the Mummies of the Takla Makan, shooting in China in early 2001.
The new company has resources to develop a full slate across a wide range of
programming from drama to documentary. Union Pictures has a sister company,
the film production set-up Natural Nylon, with whom they work closely.
Commenting, Rohan Courtney, Chairman of West 175 said:
'We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Union Pictures, which
has a formidable reputation in television production. We will benefit from the
long established contacts developed by Union Pictures and their other company,
Natural Nylon, in the UK and globally, and with the joint skills of both West
175 and Union Pictures, we expect to develop a range of programmes for
screening in the UK and worldwide. Between Union 175, Ninox 175, and West 175
Productions we will have a world-class production capability second to none.'
West 175 and Union will each have two directors on the Board of Union 175.
West 175 Chairman, Rohan Courtney, will be Chairman and John McEwen, the
Group's Chief Executive, have been nominated by West 175. Union co-founder
Bradley Adams and Tony Miller, its Chief Operating Officer, will be Union
John McEwen and Bradley Adams will act as joint Managing Directors.
Commenting, Bradley Adams, Chairman of Union Pictures said:
'Union 175 will deliver benefits to both West 175 and Union Pictures and will
increase the production slate in both drama and lifestyle programmes. The
relationship with West 175 will deliver us the opportunity to distribute
programmes through over 290 PBS outlets and other TV networks in the US, where
West 175 has established contacts, and in New Zealand, where West 175 owns and
operates television stations in Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. There
are numerous other opportunities. We are excited about working alongside Rohan
and John McEwen, both of whom share a common vision of the future of TV
worldwide. This is a business based on relationships and in John McEwen, we
have found someone who shares our values and approach to making high quality
programming. Union 175 promises to be an exciting new venture.'
West 175 Media Union Pictures Binns & Co PR Ltd Teather & Greenwood
Rohan Courtney, Bradley Adams, Paul McManus Richard Thompson
Tel: 020 8398 7175 Tel: 020 7287 5110 Simon Ellis
Mob: 07879 498 544 Mob: 07803 167 699 Tel: 020 7786 9600 Tel: 020 7426 9073