Prominent New Zealand television production company Greenstone TV, best known for long-running factual series like Motorway Patrol, Coastwatch, Neighbours at War and Dog Squad, has sold to Australian TV producer Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ).
The acquisition will be completed in the next few weeks.
Both companies are top production houses in their own right. Joining forces creates a powerful platform to continue delivering original programming in a market dominated by European and US formats.
Greenstone managing director John Harris, who founded Greenstone in 1994, says the relationship with CJZ opens new possibilities for Greenstone and its production teams: “The CJZ-Greenstone combination will make it a major player in Australia and New Zealand.” Greenstone already makes two series in Australia – Highway Patrol and Coastwatch Oz, both for the Seven Network.
Greenstone’s titles will strengthen CJZ’s catalogue of internationally recognized programmes including Bondi Rescue – winner of six Logies, the Gruen franchise – winner of the 2013 Rose d’Or for Best Light Entertainment, and the ground-breaking Go Back to Where You Came From – winner of the 2012 Golden Rose for Best Television Programme in any genre and recently nominated for the International Emmy.
Harris says Greenstone and CJZ are “a perfect fit”. Both companies are independently-owned and create original shows which sell around the world. “It feels like the right time to make this move,” he says. “I have a high regard for the CJZ team and the new relationship will allow Greenstone to continue to grow in its own right. We share similar values, high standards and a deep respect for our production staff.”
“This is an important step for both companies,” says Nick Murray MD of CJZ. “I have a huge amount of respect for John Harris and his team and the quality of Greenstone’s programmes. Their creative output dovetails perfectly with the successful and original content we provide networks here in Australia and internationally. This deal gives us the platform to build the CJZ group for the future.”
Michael Cordell CJZ Creative Director says: “New Zealand is one of the great creative hothouses for new and bold programming. The size of the market in New Zealand forces innovation and lateral thinking. We’re thrilled to be joining creative forces with the fantastic team at Greenstone to develop new shows for the international market across all genres. Plus the Kiwis do brilliant pinot noir.”
John Harris continues with Greenstone in an advisory capacity, while the company will continue to be run by the management team which has been at the helm for more than a decade – general manager Bryan Hall, head of production Andrea Lamb, and financial controller Glenda Paterson.