Alliance Films to refinance $400 mil in debt

Distributor bought by Goldman Sachs in 2007

TORONTO -- Canadian distributor Alliance Films said Wednesday that it will refinance about $400 million in debt issued in 2007 after it was bought by Goldman Sachs & Co.

Sources at Montreal-based Alliance Films said it intends to use a recent downgrade by Moody's Investors Service to buy back debt at a substantial discount to its face value.

"It's a super opportunity to further strengthen our financial position," the Alliance Films executive said ahead of a statement on the debt refinancing due late Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs acquired Canada's largest indie movie distributor last year when it was spun off from Canadian broadcaster Alliance Atlantis Communications.

The Societe generale de financement du Quebec, an agency that invests on behalf of the Quebec provincial government, subsequently acquired a majority stake in Alliance Films so Goldman Sachs would not breach foreign ownership rules.

After it finalizes the debt refinancing, Alliance Films is expected to continue its European expansion via acquisitions.