News Wiggin advises ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’ producer on its sale to the Tinopolis Group

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Firecracker is a factual entertainment producer. Its team is behind such hit shows as Thelma’s Gypsy Girls, Unsafe Sex in the City, and one of Channel 4’s biggest hits, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and in the US Big Fat American Gypsy Weddings.

Tinopolis is an international content producer and distributor with a strong UK business which includes Mentorn, Sunset & Vine and Pioneer. Crucially it also has a significant presence in the US with producers A. Smith & Co and BASE Productions both part of the Tinopolis Group, the latter of which was also advised by Wiggin during its sale to Tinopolis.

The deal will enable Firecracker to further grow its presence in the US, and as part of the deal, Firecracker’s management team of Mark Soldinger (CEO), Sue Oriel (Managing Director), Jes Wilkins (Head of Programming) and Jeremy Groman (Creative Director) have all become Tinopolis shareholders.

The Wiggin team was led by Michael Brader, an expert in the independent TV sector.

Sue Oriel, Firecracker MD, comments: “We knew of Wiggin’s prominence in this space and Michael and his team did not disappoint. We have built up a strong and successful business at Firecracker, so it was important to us that this deal was right. With Wiggin we certainly felt like we were in a safe pair of hands.”

Michael commented: “Firecracker was a great client to work with. They are somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to UK producers in that they have managed to expand into the US so successfully that half of their turnover comes from America.

“We work with a range of TV producers and it was great to have the opportunity further to enhance our expertise through advising a dynamic and international company like Firecracker. We wish them all the best in their new venture with the Tinopolis Group.”

Michael Brader is widely recognised as an expert in the independent television sector. His recent work includes advising: Left Bank Pictures on its sale to Sony Pictures; Endemol on its acquisition of Tiger Aspect, Darlow Smithson and Tigress from IMG; Betty TV on its sale to Discovery; Optomen Television on its sale to All3Media; Remedy Productions on its sale to Argonon; Shine on its acquisition of Kudos Film & Television; Base Productions on its sale to Tinopolis; CPL Productions on its sale to Red Arrow; and September Films on its sale to DCD Media. Michael has also recently advised on the establishment of Greenbird Media, a new incubator fund for independent TV start-ups.   Mediatique, led by Tom Manwaring, provided corporate finance advice to the sellers.