It's Official: Nigel Sinclair and Guy East Are Out at Exclusive Media
UPDATED: The longtime partners were forced out by Dutch hedge fund Dasym, which owns a majority stake in Exclusive, and have already set up a new production company.
Ending weeks of negotiations over their exit packages, Exclusive Media co-chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East are officially out.
Marc Schipper, who previously served as COO, has been promoted to CEO of the company, effective immediately.
Giant hedge fund Dasym, which owns a majority stake in Exclusive, were unhappy with Sinclair and East's tenure and losses stemming from a hefty marketing spend for Rush. It's still unclear what Dasym has planned for a pared-down Exclusive, but insiders say Dasym doesn't have much interest in staying in the production business. Instead, it will focus on monetizing Exclusive's library and foreign sales arm, run by Alex Walton.
Sinclair and East are widely respected in the independent community and have worked together for two decades, first at Intermedia and then at Spitfire. And while Rush and Parkland may have been disappointments, Exclusive's success stories include George Clooney's The Ides of March, End of Watch, Snitch and The Woman in Black, a low-budget Daniel Radcliffe horror movie that grossed a whopping $127 million worldwide in 2012.
East and Sinclair, who formed Exclusive in 2008 with Schipper and Simon Oakes, have already launched their own production company, White Horse Pictures (per their exit deal, they are being provided office space by Exclusive). The duo say they will focus on content only.
They've taken several projects that were previously set up at Exclusive, including a Julius Caesar origins story. One director that's been asked to read the script is Lee Daniels.
Sinclair said the split with Exclusive was amicable. "This is the end of a journey for us. We were blessed with the support of colleagues, our partners and financial shareholder Dasym, and we built a great company," said Sinclair, who disputed the notion that Exclusive was top-heavy.
East said White Horse already has hired five "mellenials," or creative executives in their 20s and 30s. "Their mission is to look for exciting content that surprises," he said.
In 2007, Oakes and Schipper bought iconic British horror label Hammer Films with backing from Cryte Investments, a predecessor to Dasym. A year later, again with Cryte's help, they bought East and Sinclair's Spitfire Pictures, which led to the formation of Exclusive. Today Oakes serves as CEO and president of Hammer.