Santa Monica, CA, Vancouver, BC, and Montreal, Quebec (June 23, 2011) – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, and Alliance Films, a leading Canadian distributor of motion pictures and television programming, announced that the Alliance group has agreed to purchase Lionsgate’s Canadian distributor Maple Pictures for approximately $38.5 million subject to a working capital adjustment. The announcement was made by Lionsgate President and Co-Chief Operating Officer Steve Beeks and Alliance President Charles Layton and remains subject to approval by Canadian regulatory authorities.
The Alliance group will acquire Maple and its film library and will assume responsibility for Maple’s exclusive five-year output deal with Lionsgate for Canadian distribution of Lionsgate’s motion picture and television product and Maple’s exclusive long-term arrangement for distribution of Lionsgate’s prestigious filmed entertainment library in Canada. Maple founders and Co-Presidents Laurie May and Brad Pelman will join the Alliance team.
“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,” said Beeks. “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.”
“This transaction combines two extraordinary distributors in Canada and strengthens the distribution infrastructure we offer to our content partners,” said Layton. “We’re thrilled to add Lionsgate’s new films and very large, renowned library to Alliance. We look forward to working with the entire Lionsgate team in the years to come.”
Maple Pictures was founded in 2005 by May and Pelman, two former Lionsgate executives, and has emerged as one of Canada’s leading distributors, recently releasing such hit motion pictures as Lionsgate’s The Expendables, the Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker and recent Academy Award nominees Winter’s Bone and Biutiful. Upcoming Maple Pictures releases include Conan, Warrior, Abduction and next year’s first installment of The Hunger Games franchise from Lionsgate as well as Our Idiot Brother from The Weinstein Company and recent Cannes Film Festival winner for Best Director Drive, which will be released in the U.S. by FilmDistrict.
“We’re proud to have helped build Maple Pictures into an important brand in Canada during the past six years, and we’re looking forward to combining our forces with Alliance,” said May and Pelman.