Entertainment One Ltd (LSE: ETO) has agreed to buy Phase 4 Films from president and CEO Berry Meyerowitz, who will now become president of Entertainment One’s U.S. film and distribution business. The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed; however, sources have cited the purchase price as $27 million. Based in Toronto, Phase 4 Films is a full-service independent studio. Entertainment One, which is also based in Toronto, specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company has been a portfolio investment of British private equity firm Marwyn Investment Management since 2007.
Entertainment One Announces Agreement to Acquire Phase 4 Films
Deal reinforces eOne’s VOD, digital and home entertainment strategies in the U.S.
Brings new opportunities to eOne’s Family business in the U.S. and Canada
TORONTO, ONTARIO and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwired – June 2, 2014) – Entertainment One (“eOne”) (LSE:ETO) is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire the Phase 4 Films group of companies (“Phase 4”) from President & CEO Berry Meyerowitz. Meyerowitz today takes on the role of President of eOne’s U.S. Film and Distribution business, and will oversee all aspects of film distribution in the U.S. and also oversee the company’s North American label and kids & family content distribution businesses.
The acquisition will unite two independent film distribution leaders in North America under eOne. Founded by Meyerowitz in 2009 and headquartered in Toronto, Phase 4 handles sought-after film, television and special interest content across all media in the North American market, with a focus on home entertainment, cable, telecommunications, satellite and digital platforms.
eOne will actively source films which will see their value in these media enhanced with platform theatrical releases that generate awareness and interest before their release in transactional media. The addition of the Phase 4 management team and their combined expertise will see eOne build on that strategy.
“We are delighted to welcome Berry and the talented Phase 4 team to eOne,” said Patrice Théroux, who oversees eOne’s global film business. “Phase 4 has been first at the table for key On Demand partnerships in the U.S. and they have a proven track record of success. Their expertise will greatly extend our abilities in the U.S. while also complementing our Canadian offering.”
Phase 4 brings wide-ranging capabilities and a strong network of key U.S. VOD, digital and retail partners to eOne. This deal will also see kaboom! Entertainment, Phase 4’s dedicated kids & family label, broaden the opportunities for eOne’s growing U.S. and Canadian Family and Licensing businesses.
“This is a very exciting development for Phase 4 and all of our valued partners,” said Meyerowitz. “We are excited to bring our passion and experience to eOne. We are proud of the strong foundation that we have built over the last five years and look forward to broadening our business through eOne’s expanded portfolio.”
Meyerowitz and Phase 4’s leadership team of Sean Monson and David Richardson have signed long-term contracts to remain with eOne. eOne’s Television and Music businesses remain unchanged by the transaction.
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.
About Phase 4 Films
Phase 4 Films is one of the leading full service independent studios. With offices in ten cities in the U.S. and Canada, the company provides a full range of services relating to the sales, marketing, licensing and distribution of feature films, television and special interest content across all media in the North American market. kaboom! Entertainment is its dedicated kids & family label and is one of the most recognizable brands in the children’s and family market. Phase 4 Films is an authorized Telefilm theatrical distributor and is also eligible to distribute Canadian Media Funded programming worldwide.
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