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Zenith keen to buy up indies

Zenith Entertainment, the indie behind ITV hits Inspector Morse and SM:TV, is in the market for production companies, according to managing director Ivan Rendall, who this week led a buyout of the 20-year-old company, writes Colin Robertson

Zenith Entertainment, the indie behind ITV hits Inspector Morse and SM:TV, is in the market for production companies, according to managing director Ivan Rendall, who this week led a buyout of the 20-year-old company, writes Colin Robertson

Rendall's buyout team - which includes SM:TV executive producer Conor MacAnally and financial backers Pro Ven and Genesis - bought the company from a consortium of shareholders including Robert Fleming, Paul Capital Partnership and Task European.

They are thought to have paid under£10m - much less than United News & Media's aborted£27m offer in 2000.

Rendall told Broadcast: 'We are now a company where the management has a proper stake in the business and are in control of our destiny.'

He added the former ITV production arm - which was sold by Carlton in 1993 to maintain its indie status - now had enough cash to invest in a variety of new TV projects, as well as other companies. 'We could definitely be a buyer,' he said.

The other members of the buyout team include former Chrysalis MD Philip McDanell, director of drama Adrian Bate, director of production Alan Fairholm and commercial director Pilar Perez.

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