MDIF shareholders OK Goldman takeover

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TORONTO -- Shareholders of Canada's Movie Distribution Income Fund on Friday approved the takeover of the indie movie distributor by Goldman Sachs & Co. and its Canadian equity partner, EdgeStone Capital.

At a special meeting in Toronto, shareholders of MDIF, which holds a 49% stake in Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution LP, Canada's largest indie distributor, voted 99.92% in favor of tendering their stakes to Goldman Sachs for $10 per unit.

The shareholder green light follows Alliance Atlantis Communications earlier selling its controlling 51% stake in MPD to Goldman Sachs as part of a larger $2.3 billion ($1.99 billion) takeover.

Management of the Movie Distribution Income Fund negotiated with Goldman Sachs for months to secure the $10-per-unit offer, even approaching the Ontario courts to block a wider CAN$2.3 billion bid for Alliance Atlantis.

After the transaction for MPD concludes on Aug. 15, Movie Distribution Income Fund will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

EdgeStone Capital will run MPD on behalf of Goldman Sachs to ensure the Wall Street powerhouse doesn't run afoul of foreign ownership restrictions on domestic movie distributors in Canada.

The takeover will be reviewed by Heritage Canada, the federal department responsible for culture and film policy.

MPD has separate theatrical, home video and broadcast sales businesses in Canada, the U.K. and Spain.
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