France’s StudioCanal Heads Down Under with Hoyts Distribution Acquisition

5:22 AM PST 07/17/2012 by Pip Bulbeck

The French company is also eyeing production opportunities in Australia.

SYDNEY - Australia’s Hoyts Group has sold its film distribution arm, Hoyts Distribution to French giant Studio Canal, marking the first foray down under by a major European distributor.

Under the deal announced Tuesday StudioCanal will acquire 100 percent of Hoyts Distribution, for an undisclosed price.

The acquisition of Hoyts Distribution gives the company scale to compete in Australia and New Zealand,  with the U.S. studios, all of which have a local presence here.

Australia’s box office continues to track north of $1 billion annually

"We are very happy to develop direct operations in Australia, one of the most dynamic markets in the world, with the very experienced and talented team of Hoyts, led by Robert Slaviero. We believe there are strong opportunities in this territory for our films,” Olivier Courson, chairman and CEO of StudioCanal said in a statement.

Hoyts CEO Robert Slaviero added: "This is great for the business and we are so pleased about the exciting times ahead. StudioCanal is a strong distribution business that produces its own content and acquires product. We're extremely proud to be part of its growing success."

A major asset of Hoyts Distribution, which has been operating here for a decade, is its film library that contains over 120 titles, including four films from the Saw series and all of the films in the Twilight franchise.

Hoyts is scheduled to release The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 here on Nov. 15.

The deal will also allow StudioCanal’s own films like upcoming kids movie Paddington to get wider distribution in Australia and New Zealand.

And production is in its sights too. The French giant says it will “look at new opportunities for its international productions in Australia with its great talent and favorable tax incentives.”

The Hoyts Group remains Australia’s largest exhibitor with 436 of  Australia’s’ 1500-plus screens. It also owns  cinema advertising network Val Morgan.

 

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