Entertainment One Completes Alliance Acquisition

11:31 PM PST 01/08/2013 by Stuart Kemp

The "Twilight Saga" distributor closes the $228 million deal as Alliance CEO Victor Loewy and president Charles Layton leave the company.

LONDON – Canadian producer/distributor Entertainment One said Wednesday that it has officially sealed the deal to acquire Alliance Films from affiliates of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Investissement Québec for approximately $228 million (CAD$225 million).

Entertainment One's board announced that the deal had been signed and sealed following approval by the Canadian Competition Bureau last week.

With international reach across Canada, the United Kingdom, Benelux, Australia, United States and Spain, the acquisition brings together two independent film distribution players under the Entertainment One banner and establishes the newly-enlarged company as the largest independent film distributor in both the Canadian and U.K. markets.

Entertainment One has released such films as The Twilight Saga franchise, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

The merged entity will also have output deals in Canada with the likes of The Weinstein Company, Focus Features and Relativity.

eOne has existing output and strategic distribution relationships with Summit, Lakeshore, Lava Bear, Morgan Creek, among others.

The integration of Alliance Films significantly broadens eOne’s filmed entertainment library to over 35,000 titles, giving it a wealth of content available to market across all platforms.

"This acquisition delivers on eOne’s long-term growth strategy to invest in content, maximize rights ownership and expand our international footprint," said Entertainment One president and CEO Darren Throop.

"We want to recognize Alliance’s leaders who have built a passionate team with a remarkable understanding of the international film business and their markets," he said. "We look forward to forging relationships with our new partners, representing the very best in independent film across the globe, and delivering opportunities for continued growth by eOne on a multi-territory multi-platform basis. This acquisition better positions eOne to generate significant value for shareholders."

Leadership for the combined company will report to Throop.

Throop said Wednesday that Patrice Theroux would continue to lead the film business. eOne also announced that former Alliance CEO Victor Loewy and former Alliance president Charles Layton have left the company to pursue other interests.

"We’re delighted to welcome Alliance’s talented team to the eOne family," Theroux said. "eOne is made up of the gifted teams brought together through the effective integration of Les Films Seville, Contender, RCV, Oasis International, Barna Alper, Blueprint, Hopscotch, among others, and we have no doubt that our strong entrepreneurial organization will be further strengthened with the addition of our new colleagues."

He added: "We’re pleased to extend our robust international distribution infrastructure into Spain. Our enlarged platform and increased presence on the ground will create meaningful opportunities for innovation and growth throughout all territories and across our divisions."

eOne’s television, music and distribution businesses remain unaffected by the transaction.

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