Entertainment One Launches $100 Million Movie Acquisition Fund

The company's new international film division head, Harold van Lier, will use the fund to acquire worldwide rights on "premium commercial films."

LONDON – Entertainment One has set up a $100 million film acquisition fund as the freshly appointed president of its international film division, Harold van Lier, gets his feet under his desk.

Van Lier, the former executive vp international distribution at StudioCanal, is launching eOne Films International’s film financing arm to leverage financing secured from eOne territories, on top of acquiring worldwide rights.

PHOTOS: 2013 in Review: Box Office Hits and Misses Around the World

A year ago, eOne acquired Canadian rival Alliance Films, creating a group with reach in the U.S., U.K., Spain and elsewhere.

eOne Films International’s new integrated financing structure will aim to snap up worldwide rights on "a series of premium commercial films through the coming years," the company said in a statement.

The acquisition fund is a statement of the company’s "considerable commitment and enhanced spending-power" and will "offer producers a substantial investment in their films and ideally positions eOne to secure wide-appeal commercial titles for both direct and international distribution."

Van Lier will collaborate with eOne film business leaders across territories and will focus on bringing fresh relationships from within the European creative community to eOne. He will work alongside Alex Hamilton, managing director, eOne Films U.K.; film production head Xavier Marchand; and L.A.-based executives Benedict Carver and Lara Thompson

STORY: Former StudioCanal Exec to Join eOne's International Film Division

eOne Films International’s strengthened partnership potential is also reinforced by a production financing deal struck with City National Bank and OneWest Bank for projects in which eOne Films International "significantly" invests.

Said Van Lier: "The acquisition fund is a game-changing resource for our division and will support our new strategy to get our hands on the most sought-after films in the earliest stages. eOne’s amassed ability to offer content creators a major financial contribution towards their projects, broad international expertise and access to the most robust international infrastructure is absolutely unmatched."

Van Lier is also gearing up for the debut of Seville International later this year.

Longtime Montreal-based vp international sales Anick Poirier will run the start-up division from eOne’s Quebec-based Les Films Seville offices.