South Korea's CJ ENM Acquires European Sales Outfit Eccho Rights

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The deal will accelerate the South Korean entertainment giant's expansion into overseas markets including the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

South Korean entertainment powerhouse CJ ENM has reached a deal to acquire majority control of Eccho Rights, the film and television rights management and distribution company based in Sweden.

The Korean company says the deal will accelerate its global expansion strategy, helping it build its content business in markets such as Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. 

Eccho Rights is an influential player in the European television space, known for its large volumes of sales of drama series from Western Europe and Turkey as well as in emerging markets like Russian, India and Korea. The company says it has licensed over 15,000 hours of TV series to clients around the world over the past year. Eccho has offices in Stockholm, Istanbul, Madrid, Seoul and Manilla. 

CJ ENM is one of Asia's largest and most influential entertainment companies, with business lines spanning a global film studio, a television network, a music studio, an animation house and much more. CJ's film division has expanded aggressively into local-language film production in many of the developing markets where Eccho is active. 

The company says the Eccho deal "will bring synergies strengthening CJ ENM’s format business, content sales and distribution, as well as developing the extensive catalogue of IPs represented by Eccho Rights."

"The merger will create exceptional value for both sides to consolidate our global presence," said Chul-yeon Kim, senior vice president of CJ ENM's global business. "This will substantially enable us to leverage our premium contents to reach worldwide audiences, offering unique experiences and enjoyment."

The two partners say Eccho Rights will continue to operate under its existing management and brand, with company executives Fredrik af Malmborg and Nicola Söderlund remaining as significant shareholders.

CJ ENM's existing international sales unit will continue to operate as a separate unit from Eccho, the partners said.

"CJ ENM is the ideal partner for Eccho Rights in our ambition to build on our business models in television drama for the future," said af Malmborg, managing director of Eccho Rights, in a statement. "Our experience in the Turkish and Western drama market creates a very solid link to Korea and the rest of Asia. To be a part of CJ ENM will enable us to grow and to develop an even stronger offering to TV producers worldwide."