Firm Advises Tinopolis Group on Acquisition of Leading Reality TV Production Company and New Joint Venture

February 3, 2014
The Tinopolis Group, one of the U.K.'s largest independent media producers and distributors, acquires “Top Chef” producer Magical Elves and enters into joint venture to create new production company called Tollbooth Group.

On February 3, it was announced that Willkie client The Tinopolis Group, one of the U.K.'s largest independent media producers and distributors, has acquired U.S.-based production company Magical Elves. Since its formation in 2001 Magical Elves has developed and produced shows for NBC, ABC, Bravo, Showtime, Oxygen, USA, and HBO, including Project Runway, Top Chef, The Real L-Word, Project Greenlight and Last Comic Standing, among others.

Separately, the firm also advised Tinopolis on its recently announced joint venture with  award-winning television producer Kevin Lee to launch a new television production company called Tollbooth Group.  The new Burbank, California-based venture, backed by Tinopolis, will take an ownership stake and distribute the output internationally through its wholly owned subsidiary, Passion Distribution. Tollbooth Group will develop and produce unscripted programming for domestic and international buyers.

In 2011, Willkie advised The Tinopolis Group in its successful acquisitions of U.S.-based A. Smith and Co. and BASE Productions.

The acquisition of Magical Elves was handled by partners Robert Langdon, Jordan Messinger and Christopher Peters; special counsel Cindy Chernuchin and associates Delano Ladd, Andrew Endicott, Thomas Spencer, Phillip Lee, Geri Anne McEvoy and Amir Ghavi.

The Tollbooth joint venture was handled by partner Robert Langdon and associates Michael Brandt, Veronica Ng and Amir Ghavi.