It's Official: Lionsgate Sells Maple Pictures To Alliance Films

The $38.5 million deal marks Lionsgate's first sale of a peripheral asset to shore up its balance sheet after a drawn-out proxy fight with activist shareholder Carl Icahn.

TORONTO -- Following months of negotiations, Lionsgate late Thursday said it has sold its Canadian distributor, Maple Pictures, to rival Alliance Films.

Lionsgate and Alliance Films in a joint statement said they agreed to the takeover that values Maple Pictures at $38.5 million.

"We're delighted to partner with Alliance, an iconic brand in the Canadian filmed entertainment business, in a long-term relationship that assures that our product will be handled by an experienced team with unparalleled knowledge of the Canadian marketplace," Lionsgate president Steve Beeks said in a statement.

"This deal also allows us to sharpen our focus on our core assets that are critical to our growth trajectory, and it is an important step in the ongoing process of simplifying our business," he added.

The deal allows Lionsgate to monetize a peripheral asset and Alliance Films to become even more dominant as Canada’s largest indie film distributor, with satellite operations in Britain and Spain.

Alliance Films, which is led by Victor Loewy, will now distribute Lionsgate films and TV shows in Canada as part of a five year agreement, and acquire Maple Pictures’ extensive film library.