Panavision, Sim and Saban Capital Acquisition Abandon Merger Plans

A "volatile" stock market and the recent U.S. government shutdown were cited as grounds to terminate the transaction.

Saban Capital Acquisition has abandoned plans to merge with Panavision, the iconic camera firm, and with Canadian production house Sim Video International in a deal valued at about $622 million and first unveiled in September.

"The decision to end the agreement was a difficult one because all parties believed in the benefits of the combined company," said James Haggarty, president and CEO of Sim International, in a statement on Thursday.

"However, the volatile stock market conditions, combined with delays caused by the partial U.S. government shutdown in January and the resulting difficulty in getting everything completed before the March 31 deadline, led to the decision to end the agreement," he added.

The original merger plans called for Panavision and Sim to become subsidiaries of SCA when the merger closed in 2019, with the combined entity to trade on the NASDAQ Exchange. "Despite the merits of bringing the two operating companies of Sim and Panavision together under common ownership, the timing of doing so as a public company was just not right," Haggarty said.

SCA is a special purpose acquisition company affiliated with Saban Capital Group, which was founded by media mogul Haim Saban. SCG's investments include stakes in Univision, Celestial Tiger Entertainment in Malaysia and Partner Communications in Israel.

The combination of Sim, headquartered in Toronto, and Panavision, headquartered in Woodland Hills, aimed to create a leading provider of end-to-end production and postproduction services.