Alliance-Scanbox deal dies

After a year of negotiations, no agreement can be reached

Alliance Films' bid to buy Scandinavian distributor Scanbox has collapsed after nearly a year of negotiations, sources said.

Scanbox boss Karl-Age Jensen told staff in an internal e-mail Thursday that the takeover -- agreed to on April 2 -- was halted after Alliance, which was due to complete the deal on June 30, "requested a further delay of the final transaction, due to issues in obtaining the necessary security and guarantees to complete the Scanbox deal."

He said that Scanbox's shareholders and management therefore "decided to stop any further negotiations."

Describing the situation as "very regrettable," Jensen blamed the development on Alliance. "It is very important to underline that the reasons for this termination are not to be found in either Scanbox's internal or external situation," he said.

An insider told The Reporter that the Scanbox management had gotten "fed up of Alliance and Goldman Sachs dicking around. They put off the deadline six times, and the company was effectively on hold for six months," the source said.

Jensen told employees that the company will present a new strategy after the summer holiday period.

"The entertainment industry is undergoing heavy changes," he wrote. "We have experienced stagnation and decline in the market. We will also see the acceleration of new, digital distribution methods; there are many exciting challenges ahead and the time for hard work is now.

"Scanbox has, during the whole Alliance process, delayed a host of market-strategic improvements until the deal was done," he continued. "The purpose of these changes is to strengthen and optimize Scanbox's position, and they are a direct result of the changeable market conditions.

"Directly following the summer break we expect to present a new model. The management sees a bright future, and we look forward to implementing the new strategies with our much-valued employees and together meet the challenges that the branch has to offer."
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