Entertainment One Ltd.
LSE : ETO

Entertainment One Ltd.

September 07, 2012 03:36 ET

Entertainment One Announces Agreement to Acquire Alliance Films

Combination creates largest independent film distributor in Canada and the UK

Group broadens international offering of Canadian content and talent

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 7, 2012) - Today the Board of Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) ("eOne" or "the Group") announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Alliance Films, a leading independent distributor of filmed entertainment products in Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain, from affiliates of GS Capital Partners and Investissement Québec for approximately CAD$225 million.

Completion of the transaction will establish eOne as the largest independent film distributor in both the Canadian and UK markets. Entertainment One's Board believes that the acquisition will strengthen eOne's existing film distribution business and help drive growth.

"The combination of Entertainment One and Alliance Films will create the leading global independent film distribution business which alongside our Television and Family divisions will deliver a strong strategic platform for long term growth. As a result of the acquisition, eOne will be a more competitive business in each of the geographic markets that we serve, allowing us to act as a more valuable partner for content producers and expanding the quality and depth of the content that we offer to our customers", said Darren Throop, President & CEO, Entertainment One. "I am extremely excited by the opportunities available to us to grow the Group and we look forward to representing the very best in independent film across all of our markets. This acquisition means that eOne is better positioned than ever to generate significant value for shareholders."

Alliance Films and Entertainment One operate in geographies that are highly complementary and, following the transaction, the Group will have an international reach across Canada, the United Kingdom, Benelux, Australia, the United States and Spain. Upon completion of the deal, the Group will have increased access to the most successful independent film studios through output agreements in Canada including with The Weinstein Company, Focus Features and Relativity.

Alliance Films' slate includes a busy lineup at this week's Toronto International Film Festival including the opening night film, Looper, as well as Place Beyond the Pines, Hyde Park on the Hudson, Dredd, Anna Karenina, Seven Psychopaths, Silver Linings Playbook, Quartet, Lords of Salem, The Bay, Antiviral, Foxfire, Inescapable and Laurence Anyways.

"eOne and Alliance Films share similar values. We both have a strong commitment to supporting film, culture and talent in Canada and in each of our territories. We also have passion for this business. Joining the eOne family will provide our dedicated teams and partners more opportunities to work with great films and film makers from around the globe," said Victor Loewy, Chairman and CEO, Alliance Films.

eOne released 152 films theatrically over the year including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and the Group is presenting 18 premium films, as well as titles being sold by the international sales team, at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.

In August 2011, eOne announced an expansion of its North American film operations and an increasing focus and commitment to theatrical distribution in the US. The company also expanded its international film businesses and its international television in the UK and Europe last year.

Entertainment One is also currently a leading independent television production studio in Canada. Through new commissions and renewal of existing programs, the company delivered 237 half hours of original television in various genres in its last fiscal year.

Completion of the acquisition is conditional, amongst other things, on approval being received from the Canadian Competition Bureau.

About Entertainment One Ltd.

Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is an international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company's comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 24,000 film and television titles, 2,700 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.

About Alliance Films

Alliance Films is one of the top five independent filmed entertainment companies in the world. A leading multinational distributor, co-financier and producer of filmed entertainment, its member companies, Alliance Films and Alliance Vivafilm (Canada); Momentum Pictures (UK) and Aurum Producciones (Spain), offer integrated delivery of content in all media.

Strategic partnerships include exclusive distribution rights to films from Relativity Media in Canada and the UK and Summit in Spain; Focus Features, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, and CBS Films in Canada; as well as ongoing relationships with FilmNation Entertainment, Exclusive Media, IM Global, Lionsgate International, Wild Bunch, Constantin Films, EuropaCorp and Nu Image in all three territories.

In addition Alliance has developed key production relationships including deals with Iain Canning and Emile Sherman's See-Saw Films which produced the multiple Academy Award® winner The King's Speech and Steve McQueen's Shame; a joint venture with IM Global in the Automatik production company; and a deal with Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum that has generated the box office hit Insidious from director James Wan, The Bay from filmmaker Barry Levinson, Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem, Scott Derricksons' Sinister, Jay Shandrasekhar's The Babymakers and Scott Stewart's Dark Skies; and also, a co-production deal with Exclusive Media, Cross Creek and Hammer, for James Watkins' The Woman in Black.

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