A year later, Alliance-Scanbox deal dies


Alliance Films' bid to buy Scandinavian distributor Scanbox has collapsed after nearly a year of negotiations, sources said.

Scanbox boss Karl-Age Jensen told staff in an internal e-mail Thursday that the takeover — agreed to on April 2 — was halted after Alliance, which was due to complete the deal June 30, "requested a further delay of the final transaction, due to issues in obtaining the necessary security and guarantees to complete the Scanbox deal."

He said that Scanbox's shareholders and management therefore "decided to stop any further negotiations."

Describing the situation as "very regrettable," Jensen blamed Alliance. "It is very important to underline that the reasons for this termination are not to be found in either Scanbox's internal or external situation," he said.

An insider said that Scanbox management had become "fed up of Alliance and Goldman Sachs dicking around. They put off the deadline six times, and the company was effectively on hold for six months."

Jensen told employees that the company will present a strategy after the summer holiday period.

"The entertainment industry is undergoing heavy changes," he wrote. "We have experienced stagnation and decline in the market. We will also see the acceleration of new, digital distribution methods; there are many exciting challenges ahead, and the time for hard work is now.

"Scanbox has, during the whole Alliance process, delayed a host of market-strategic improvements until the deal was done," he continued. "The purpose of these changes is to strengthen and optimize Scanbox's position." (partialdiff)