Sony beefs up acquisitions team

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Peter Schlessel, president of worldwide acquisitions at Sony Pictures, is beefing up his department with several key hires and promotions, the studio said Tuesday.

Schlessel, who assumed the post in September, named Adrian Alperovich senior executive vp and general manager of acquisitions and Lara Thompson senior vp acquisitions. In addition, Scott Shooman has been upped to executive director of acquisitions, Lia Buman has been named director of acquisitions, and Fritz Friedman will manage the publicity and corporate communication for the acquisitions team.

The division is expected to take on a greater role within the studio by expanding beyond the home entertainment sphere. The acquisitions team had been a part of the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment division but now will acquire and co-finance projects for various Sony Pictures distribution platforms. Schlessel acquired the TV import "The Tudors," starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, at November's AFM.

"These appointments emphasize Sony's commitment to its third-party acquisition business," said Schlessel, who reports to SPE chairman and CEO Michael Lynton.

Alperovich, a 15-year veteran at SPHE, where he was senior executive vp international, will oversee day-to-day business activities of the team, coordinating acquisitions activities within SPE and exploring the potential for acquisitions of locally produced international productions and will report to Schlessel. Alperovich will work with Pamela Kunath, senior vp business affairs.

Lara Thompson, previously vp acquisitions at London-based Momentum Pictures, will be senior vp acquisitions, reporting to Schlessel. She will be responsible for managing the Los Angeles-based acquisitions team as well as sourcing and assessing third-party projects for acquisition.
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