Sky buys majority stake in production company behind the Lie Detective

William Turvill
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True North makes programmes including the Lie Detective for Channel 4 (Source: True North/ Channel 4/ YouTube)

Sky has bought a majority stake in a northern indie production company backed by Channel 4 in 2014.

The sale marks Channel 4’s first exit from a company backed by its £20m Indie Growth Fund.

Founded in 2001, True North now employs more than 150 people across Leeds and Manchester.

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The production company, which was advised on the deal by ACF Investment Bank, is behind programmes such as The Lie Detective, A New Life in the Sun, Junior Vets/Ultimate Vets, Homes by the Sea, Building the Dream and MTV’s Teen Mom UK.

“Being aligned to Channel 4 has been a terrific experience,” said True North founder and creative director Andrew Sheldon.

Although they won’t be investors anymore we’re really looking forward to continuing our creative partnership with the channel. We’re now well placed to deliver on a new set of ambitions in the global market, and we think Sky are the perfect partners to help achieve that.

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Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham said: “We set up the Indie Growth Fund to help support creative UK companies get to the next level – and in just two years we’ve helped secure a strong future for True North.”

He added: “The return on our investment in True North will support our ongoing commitment to the UK-wide creative sector.”

Sky Vision managing director Jane Millichip said: “This acquisition builds on the work we have done over the last few years to create a European powerhouse for content production and distribution.”

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