Deluxe Acquired by Platinum Equity

Cyril Drabinsky returns as CEO; Creative companies such as Company 3 and EFILM are not part of the deal.
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Cyril Drabinsky

Deluxe Entertainment Services — sans its creative businesses including postproduction houses Company 3 and EFILM — has been acquired by Platinum Equity, which has brought Cyril Drabinsky back to his role at CEO of the company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Eric Cummins, who was named Deluxe's CEO last November as it emerged from a prepackaged bankruptcy, will remain with the separated creative services entities that are not part of the Platinum acquisition, Drabinsky told The Hollywood Reporter. These companies, which also include post house Encore and VFX facility Method, would be rebranded without the Deluxe name, he said.

Drabinsky, who after two decades left Deluxe in 2016 to found CineVizion, returns to Deluxe, again as CEO. CineVizion also was acquired by Platinum Equity, whose digital cinema services will be folded into Deluxe's business, which includes localization (subtitling and dubbing), digital cinema (mastering, key generation and distribution to theaters), home entertainment (compression, encoding and authorizing) and fulfillment (encryption, transcoding and distribution of movies and TV content).

Drabinksy told THR on Wednesday that the business is open though its digital cinema unit is most significantly impacted by theater closures amid COVID-19. "We hope that's going to come back," he said, adding that Deluxe would focus on "servicing customers" while looking for growth opportunities.

Also re-joining the company are former Deluxe execs Mike Gunter (who was with the company from 1999-2019) in the role of CFO; and Warren Stein, who served as COO from the mid-90s to 2016 and again assumes the role of COO.

Former Deluxe president of postproduction William Sherak, currently a partner in Project X Entertainment, advised Platinum Equity on the acquisition and will remain in an advisory role with the company.

Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity has approximately $23 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies including Detroit Pistons Sports and Entertainment and live concert and events company 313 Presents.

“The entertainment industry, like many others, has been seriously disrupted by the coronavirus crisis,” Gores said in a statement. “It will take both experience and tenacity to make it through to the other side, but we are confident that good companies with strong fundamentals and capable leadership will not only survive this crisis, but thrive.” He indicated in the statement that "this is the first of several things to come in this space.”

Following the 2019 Chapter 11 process, Deluxe's lenders had assumed control of the business, which was founded as a film lab in 1915 by William Fox, and was acquired by Ron Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes holding company in 2006. It maintains key hubs in Los Angeles, Bangalore, London and Sydney.