Reliance gets majority stake in IM Global

IM's Stuart Ford will continue as CEO under multiyear deal

Stuart Ford
India's Reliance Big Entertainment has taken a majority stake in IM Global, the international sales film company founded three years ago by Stuart Ford.

The deal builds on the sales alliance that the companies announced in February under which IM Global handles Reliance's Hindi film output internationalliy.

The new backing from Reliance, a member of Reliance ADA Group, increases IM Global's capacity for independent film financing and enables its expansion into sales and financing for top-tier. non-English language cinema as well as selective rights acquisitions for India and other Asian markets.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Ford's holding company Ancramdale will retain what is described as a significant equity position in the business, and the Los Angeles-based Ford will continue as CEO under a multiyear deal.

IM Global already has been repping Reliance Big Pictures' "Kites," starring Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan and Mexican actress Barbara Mori, and "Raavan," which stars Abhishek Bachchan and his wife Aishwarya Rai. It is planning a major promotional event for "Raaven" at the Cannes International Film Festival, which begins next week.

"I simply could not wish for a more dynamic partner to help nurture (IM Global's) progression," Ford said. "We're also looking forward to helping Reliance extend its presence in Hollywood and the worldwide film community."

The IM Global deal adds to Reliance's growing footprint in Hollywood, where RBP has partnered with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider at DreamWorks and has development deals with Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Chris Columbus, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, Brett Ratner, Julia Roberts and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment.