UPDATE: Alliance co-founder and CEO Victor Loewy released the statement below following the eOne announcement this morning:
“Further to the acquisition of Alliance Films by eOne, the Alliance Films brand and legacy will come to an end. Whilst it’s been a privilege to be part of Alliance, having founded and been associated with the company for the past 40 years, I have decided not to be part of the new enterprise. Therefore, I will step down as Chairman and CEO of Alliance with immediate effect and will open a new chapter in my life.”
PREVIOUS: Entertainment One was granted regulatory clearance by the Canadian Competition authority last week to acquire Alliance Films and today says it has completed the roughly $230M transaction. As a result of the merger, Alliance CEO Victor Loewy and Alliance president Charles Layton have left “to pursue other interests.” The tie-up creates the largest independent film distributor in Canada and the UK and gives the new group reach across those territories along with Benelux, Australia, the U.S. and Spain. There will be some overlap for the companies, notably in the UK and Canada, and the group says it will “begin the integration process and will work quickly to bring the companies together under eOne.” Click over for the press release:
Toronto – January 9, 2013 – Today the Board of Entertainment One Ltd. (“eOne” or “the Group”) announces the completion of its transaction to acquire Alliance Films, a leading independent distributor of filmed entertainment products in Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain, from affiliates of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Investissement Québec for approximately CAD$225 million. The completion of the transaction follows clearance by the Canadian Competition Bureau last week.
With international reach across Canada, the United Kingdom, Benelux, Australia, United States and now Spain, the acquisition unites two independent film distribution leaders under eOne and establishes the Group as the largest independent film distributor in both the Canadian and UK markets.
The integration of Alliance Films significantly broadens eOne’s filmed entertainment library to over 35,000 titles; enhancing its offering of premium content across all platforms.
“This acquisition delivers on eOne’s long-term growth strategy to invest in content, maximize rights ownership and expand our international footprint,” said Darren Throop, President & CEO, Entertainment One. “We want to recognize Alliance’s leaders who have built a passionate team with a remarkable understanding of the international film business and their markets. We look forward to forging relationships with our new partners, representing the very best in independent film across the globe, and delivering opportunities for continued growth by eOne on a multi-territory multi-platform basis. This acquisition better positions eOne to generate significant value for shareholders.”
eOne now offers more opportunities to work with quality films and talented film makers from around the globe. In addition to eOne’s existing output and strategic distribution relationships with Summit, Lakeshore, Lava Bear, Morgan Creek, among others; the transaction brings eOne output agreements with Lionsgate in Canada, Summit and Lionsgate in Spain and Relativity in Canada and the UK.
Leadership for the combined company will report to Darren Throop. Throop announced today that Patrice Théroux will continue to lead the Film business. eOne also announced that former Alliance CEO Victor Loewy and former Alliance President Charles Layton have left the Company to pursue other interests.
“We’re delighted to welcome Alliance’s talented team to the eOne family. eOne is made up of the gifted teams brought together through the effective integration of Les Films Seville, Contender, RCV, Oasis International, Barna Alper, Blueprint, Hopscotch, among others, and we have no doubt that our strong entrepreneurial organization will be further strengthened with the addition of our new colleagues,” said Théroux. He added, “We’re pleased to extend our robust international distribution infrastructure into Spain. Our enlarged platform and increased presence on the ground will create meaningful opportunities for innovation and growth throughout all territories and across our divisions.”
The Group will begin the integration process and will work quickly to bring the companies together under eOne. eOne’s Television, Music and Distribution businesses remain unchanged by the transaction.
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