IM Global's Ford buys out stakeholder Bergstein


Stuart Ford, the CEO of Los Angeles-based indie film sales and distribution outfit IM Global, has bought out the substantial but unspecified minority stake held by Capco financier-producer David Bergstein.

The deal was facilitated by David Molner's Screen Capital International and the U.K.-based Aramid Entertainment Fund, which both agreed to step in and help fund the transaction several weeks ago. Outside sources said the Bergstein stake was worth "several million dollars."

IM Global has been actively selling several movies abroad at festivals and markets including the Larry Charles-Bill Maher documentary "Religulous" and the drama "Shelter," starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Still unclear in the always-fragile indie film business is the fate of New York-based ThinkFilm, which is in financial straits and wholly owned by Bergstein's Capco.

Ford, who is British, was head of Miramax International and subsequently president of First Look International. He bought out the original owner of IM Global — the German producer-distributor Intermedia — a year ago, though the company still has an output deal in German-speaking territories with Intermedia. The company under Ford recently set up home video and TV divisions. (partialdiff)