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A big leap forward for Greenstone

Press release: A big leap forward for Greenstone

19 November 2010

New Zealand television production company Greenstone Pictures announced today that it has acquired 100 per cent ownership of Cream Media – making Greenstone New Zealand’s biggest independent producer of factual programmes, along with its drama and entertainment output.

Greenstone, founded in 1994 by journalist John Harris, is best known for longrunning factual hits such as Motorway Patrol, The Zoo, Neighbours at War, Epitaph and Serious Crash Unit; studio shows Ask Your Auntie and How’s Life – as well as family drama series The Amazing Extraordinary Friends; and dozens of documentaries including Baby Charlotte, Cave Creek: the full story of a national tragedy, Back from the dead: the Rose Noelle Saga, and the recent Keith Park – the Kiwi who saved Britain.

Cream’s many successes include top-rating series Border Patrol, Dog Squad, Coastwatch, Wild Vets, Hitched the popular Money Man, and the critically acclaimed series 50 years of Television.

John Harris, founder and owner of Greenstone, said: “The acquisition of Cream is an important strategic move. It doubles our current output and gives us an even stronger base from which to continue our growth into other territories.” Greenstone has established a foothold in Australia, where it films Highway Patrol and CIU - Crash Investigation Unit for the Seven Network, and its programmes have been selling around the world for the past decade. Cream’s programmes also have a strong presence in Australia, where it has an output deal with the Seven Network.

Harris: “Acquiring Cream was an opportunity for quantum growth for Greenstone - and I’ve seized it. It’s a big leap forward for Greenstone.

“This is a significant investment in the development of Greenstone. In terms of building our capability to compete in the international marketplace, it’s an important part of our strategy.”

Harris noted that Cream’s programmes were a perfect complement for Greenstone’s lineup, and he expected the merging of the two teams of producers would be smooth. Greenstone will continue to be run by General Manager Bryan Hall, Financial Controller Glenda Paterson, and Head of Production Andrea Lamb. “We have a rock solid management team,” said Harris.

Cream’s founder and Managing Director, Nigel Snowden, will join Greenstone as Executive Producer of Development. “This is a significant factor in the deal,” said Harris. “Having Nigel join our senior team is a real bonus. He’s an outstanding creative talent.”

Snowden: “ The merging of Greenstone and Cream will create a formidable presence in the market place both in New Zealand and overseas. The two companies are a great strategic fit and play to each other’s strengths. I look forward to joining the Greenstone team and creating New Zealand’s Number 1 production house.”

The deal is effective today, 19 November.


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