Drake's Mandate to Lionsgate

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Six years after leaving to form Mandate Pictures with partners Nathan Kahane and Brian Goldsmith, Joe Drake is back at Lionsgate (HR 9/13).

Lionsgate acquired Mandate on Monday in a $56.3 million cash and stock deal that will see Drake return to the fold as co-COO and president of Lionsgate's motion picture group, overseeing theatrical production, distribution, marketing, acquisitions and international theatrical operations. He also will continue as CEO of the Beverly Hills-based Mandate.

Lionsgate will pay $44.3 million in cash and $12 million in stock to be released over 18 months. It also will take on about $6.6 million in debt.

The acquisition reflects continuing growth at Lionsgate as it moves further into international distribution, Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer said. He added that it will allow for a more streamlined realignment of the Lionsgate motion picture team, with Lionsgate theatrical films president Tom Ortenberg; production president Michael Paseornek; acquisitions, TV and co-productions president Peter Block; and international sales president Stephanie Denton all reporting to Drake.

"It frees me up to pursue more growth opportunities," Felt-heimer said.

In addition to producing movies, Mandate has handled international sales and distribution for its own projects as well as for such films from outside production companies as the upcoming "Because I Said So," "White Jazz" and "Sleuth."
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