Entertainment One Ltd.

Entertainment One Ltd.


April 11, 2011 02:48 ET

Entertainment One Heads Down Under to Acquire Australian Distributor Hopscotch

Acquisition reinforces eOne's global presence and leadership in content distribution

TORONTO, ONTARIO and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM and SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - April 11, 2011) - Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO), the international entertainment group, is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Hopscotch group, one of Australia's premier independent feature film distributors.

This deal marks eOne's first acquisition into the Australasian market and is in line with the Company's strategy to become the world's leading independent filmed entertainment content distribution business. The Australian market presents an exciting opportunity for eOne, both to build on its existing operations worldwide and to acquire and exploit film titles for a larger group of territories. "This acquisition is another momentous step forward in building our multi-territory content ownership and distribution infrastructure" commented Darren Throop, President & CEO, Entertainment One.

Founded in 2002, Hopscotch is a leading film distribution business to the Australian and New Zealand markets, focused on independent international titles as well as local Australian content. Hopscotch released 15 titles theatrically in 2010 and the Group controls a library of more than 300 feature films and television titles. Over the past three years, notable releases have included The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke, The Kids Are All Right, Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Mao's Last Dancer directed by Bruce Beresford, and Golden Globe-nominated Barney's Version. The Group's release slate for 2011 includes the Oscar-nominated film Incendies and Beginners starring Ewan McGregor. On May 5th, Hopscotch will release the US box-office success Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, into the Australian market. Hopscotch's current management team, led by Troy Lum, Frank Cox and Sandie Don, will remain in place following completion of the deal. "This deal enables Hopscotch to flourish as part of a larger international group. It's clear that eOne has successfully built a unique multi-territory film distribution operation that we are thrilled to become a part of," said Troy Lum, Managing Director of Hopscotch.

eOne now operates in the UK, the US, Canada, Benelux, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Scandinavia, and South Africa, positioning it as the best placed independent to acquire films, television and kids' programs across all territories and platforms. Going forward eOne will continue its expansion through strategic acquisition and distribution in key territories.

Hopscotch, based in Sydney, will be part of eOne's Filmed Entertainment division which is headed by Patrice Theroux. "Troy, Frank, Sandie and the Hopscotch team have built a world-renowned, highly-successful and dynamic business. This acquisition allows us to follow our plan to enter new markets at the highest level. We will continue to look at other opportunities to drive eOne's expansion with a focus on growing the territories where we already have operations," said Theroux.

Completion of the acquisition is expected to take place on or around 4 May 2011.

About Entertainment One

Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading 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 20,000 film and television titles, 2,400 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.

About Hopscotch

Hopscotch is an Australian film distribution group based in Sydney. Founded in 2002, Hopscotch has grown to become a well established film distribution business within the Australian and New Zealand markets, focused on independent international titles alongside local Australian content.

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