Entertainment One adding theatrical to distrib'n mix


British equity firm Marwyn Investment Management is set to announce today that it has hired Patrice Theroux to launch a theatrical distribution division at Toronto-based Entertainment One, its recently acquired home entertainment distributor.

Last year, Marwyn lost out in a bid to acquire Canadian indie distributor Motion Picture Distribution Lp., with Theroux as its president and CEO, from Alliance Atlantis Communications.

Theroux eventually was fired from MPD for alleged abuses. After reaching a settlement with Theroux, Alliance Atlantis sold MPD to Goldman Sachs & Co.

Now Theroux has landed as president at Entertainment One, a specialty DVD, CD and video game distributor. In his new role, Theroux will oversee the worldwide acquisition and distribution of filmed content in all media, including theatrical distribution outside the U.S. market.

Theroux said he wants to build out from Entertainment One's Canadian base, where it has a strong presence in home entertainment/DVD sales.

He added that Entertainment One expects to acquire one or two smaller Canadian distributors to jump-start its expansion into theatrical releasing here.

"In Canada, we'll be there with a mix of movies: art house, crossover and commercial, with a strong focus on Canadian movies," Theroux said.

The veteran Canadian distributor also will be charged with identifying future acquisitions internationally, focusing on Europe. In early July, Entertainment One acquired the Contender Entertainment Group, an independent British DVD distributor with a movie library of more than 170 titles.

Theroux's appointment follows Marwyn's March takeover of Entertainment One and subsequent turning over of control to Earl Street Capital, a publicly traded company established by the British equity firm.