Cyrte Investments buys Spitfire Pictures

Dutch investment outfit buys L.A. production banner

CANNES -- Jon de Mol's Dutch investment vehicle Cyrte Investments has bought L.A. production banner Spitfire Pictures for an undisclosed sum.

Cyrte plans to roll Spitfire's activities into new company HS Media alongwith the Dutch fund's majority holding in British production label Hammer Films.

The aim is to create an integrated move, television, sales and distribution company with outposts in L.A. and London.

An HS Media spokesperson said the startup combination company will have access to $100 million for production and aims to make six to eight movies a year, acquire titles for its foreign sales arm and establish a vertically integrated distribution operation.

It will tap into shareholders equity and facilities from de Mol's Dutch fund "to acquire media libraries, brands suited for digital platforms and other complimentary businesses."

Spitfire and Hammer have more than 300 titles combined, some of which will likely be remade into new projects.

Development and production activities will be run out of both Los Angeles and London, with Nigel Sinclair's and Guy East's Spitfire and Simon Oakes and Marc Schipper's Hammer run as one business under two separate brands.

Sinclair and Oakes will serve as co-chairmen and CEOs, the former from L.A., the latter London. East will serve as president and chairman of both the executive board and the outfit's sales and distribution operation.

Schipper has been named COO, with Andy Mayson coming aboard as CFO and managing director of international sales and distribution. Spitfire exec Tobin Armbrust will head worldwide production, and his longtime colleague Alex Brunner will head U.S. operations, both based in L.A.
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