Entertainment One Ltd (LSE: ETO) has acquired Force Four Entertainment, a Vancouver-based television production company, from partners Rob Bromley, John Ritchie and Gillian Lowrey for an undisclosed price. Entertainment One, which earlier this year bought Paperny Entertainment Inc, said the acquisition reinforces its activity in scripted and unscripted television from Canada and will bolster its international sales offering. Based in Toronto, Entertainment One acquires, produces and distributes film and televison content. It is backed by U.K. private equity firm Marwyn Investment Management.
Entertainment One Acquires Leading Canadian Producer Force Four Entertainment
Toronto – August 28, 2014 – Entertainment One (eOne) is pleased to announce that it has acquired leading Canadian producer Force Four Entertainment from partners Rob Bromley, John Ritchie, and Gillian Lowrey. This deal will see eOne reinforce the company’s activity in scripted and unscripted television from Canada and bolster the company’s international sales offering.
Vancouver-based Force Four began operations in 1983, and has grown to be one of Canada’s most successful and respected television production companies, producing more than five hundred hours of television and earning accolades on the national and international stage. The company’s highly successful television programs include lifestyle, reality and scripted programming that have sold and aired around the world. A few of the company’s most popular series include Border Security: Canada’s Front Line, The Cupcake Girls, Shannon and Sophie, Village on a Diet, Murder She Solved, and the scripted sitcom Seed.
The two companies initially formed a partnership on Seed, which aired on CityTV in Canada and The CW in the US. The productive collaboration between the companies quickly progressed into an overall first look deal on both scripted and unscripted projects.
“As our business relationship developed, it was clear that Force Four and eOne share very similar tenets and goals, as two Canadian companies committed to great story-telling aimed at worldwide audiences,” said John Morayniss, CEO, eOne Television. “While Force Four will maintain the identity and culture that has allowed them to innovate and create, we are thrilled to welcome their talented team to our family and delighted to invest in and support Force Four’s business as part of eOne,” added Margaret O’Brien, President, Canada & COO, eOne Television.
The Force Four leadership team, which includes Bromley (President), Ritchie (Executive Producer) and Lowrey (Director of Business Affairs) all join eOne. Along with their talented team, they bring many years of experience and key relationships to eOne and complement eOne’s North American development and production teams to further enhance eOne’s international sales offering. Bromley will report to O’Brien.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the dynamic global business of eOne,” said Bromley. “Our aim has always been for Force Four to make compelling content in Canada that sells around the world. We are so proud to have reached this milestone, and we are looking forward to taking our slate even further creatively and globally.”
Working with Force Four’s national and international networks and production partners, Bromley oversees all business relationships on the company’s scripted and factual projects. Ritchie works closely with broadcasters and co-producers to oversee the creative management of all Force Four projects, from development through to delivery. Lowrey oversees the financing and business affairs of all Force Four projects, working with funding agencies, broadcasters, distributors and government agencies to ensure the financial success of the company.
Today’s transaction follows eOne’s successful acquisition of North American factual television powerhouse Paperny Entertainment in July. eOne develops, produces, acquires and distributes programming across all genres. eOne has been very active in scripted television, with recent eOne- produced series including Hell on Wheels on AMC; Discovery Channel’s first-ever scripted mini-series Klondike, which premiered in January 2014; Rookie Blue on ABC and Shaw Media; Haven on Syfy; Rogue, DIRECTV’s first original scripted series, Saving Hope on CTV; and Bitten on Space and Syfy. Recent eOne- produced unscripted successes include Who the F**K is Arthur Fogel? Perfect Storm and Compete to Eat.
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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, Spain, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea. 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 35,000 film and television titles, 2,800 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
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