PE-owned Cinram Announces Acquisition of Saffron Digital

Cinram Group, a Toronto-based media development company, announced this week that it has acquired Saffron Digital, a London, UK-based provider of video services, for US$47 million. Cinram was acquired by Najafi, an Arizona-based PE firm, in 2012, while Saffron Digital was formerly venture-capital-backed by Beringea Private Equity.


Najafi Companies Owned Cinram Acquires Video Platform Firm Saffron Digital

Acquisition Positions Cinram As The Industry’s First True End-to-end Physical To Digital Entertainment Ecosystem

PHOENIX, Ariz. and TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2013 /CNW/ – Cinram, a Najafi Companies affiliate, has acquired Saffron Digital, a specialty firm that provides and manages digital media content, for $47 million from HTC.

With offices in London and Beverly Hills, Calif., Saffron Digital specializes in the global management and delivery of premium multi-platform video services. Saffron’s Stage platform provides all the tools needed for Over-The-Top (OTT) or UltraViolet services and powers more than 30,000 premium movies on more than 100 million devices including smartphones, tablets and other online channels.

Toronto-based Cinram is a leading service provider to the entertainment industry and one of the largest global manufacturers and distributors of Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs for the world’s leading motion picture studios, record labels and game publishers.

Cinram, acquired by Najafi Companies earlier this year, also provides digital and creative services through its Los Angeles-based digital media agency, 1K Studios. 1K is known for its award-winning work in digital book and app development, enhanced user experience and consumer engagement.

Saffron Digital complements the current portfolio companies of 1K Studios and Cinram by providing a complete physical to digital delivery platform.

“Saffron Digital is an ideal partner to add to our Cinram portfolio,” said Najafi Companies CEO Jahm Najafi. “Its cloud-based digital content delivery and usage is industry-leading and adds further depth to our entertainment related investments and holdings.”

“We are excited to welcome Saffron Digital into the Cinram group of companies,” comments Cinram CEO Steve Brown. “In the field of Digital Rights Management, Saffron Digital has led the way, delivering a superior viewing experience across the spectrum of online devices. This acquisition enables Cinram to build on its reputation as a complete end-to-end supply chain provider to the entertainment industry within the digital, as well as physical space.”

“Being part of such a successful international entertainment company like Cinram is a great move for Saffron Digital,” commented Jason Keane, Saffron Digital President. “It will enable us to significantly scale our existing digital business and build a unique premium content delivery platform that works seamlessly from physical through digital to the end user.” Saffron Digital is a great fit within Cinram’s growing digital ecosystem and this acquisition will compliment both companies nicely as well as the needs of our industry.”

“Cinram’s acquisition of Saffron Digital will provide a truly aligned solution to consumer demand, enabling an easy transition for the consumer from the stunning experience of Blu-ray to storing favorite movies, music and books in the cloud and accessing them from anywhere,” said Brown.

Saffron Digital will be exhibiting at IBC in Amsterdam from 13-17 September on Connected World stand 14.154.

About Saffron Digital

Founded in 2006, Saffron Digital removes the complexity and reduces the cost of managing and delivering premium OTT or UltraViolet (UV) services. Its Stage platform combines in one place all the tools necessary to create a compelling multi-platform entertainment experience across all connected devices – content preparation, content management, storefront design, flexible payment and a secure player. With offices in Europe, Asia and the US, Saffron Digital powers end-to-end premium video solutions on a global scale for clients including KDDI, Sky and HTC. It has received international recognition for its work and has won multiple awards including: four Mobile Entertainment Awards for Best Video and TV Service Provider (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012); inclusion in the Guardian Top 100 Tech Media Invest Companies in the UK; a MEFFY for Best TV & Video Service (2011) and two Media Momentum Awards (2010, 2011).

About Cinram Group Inc.

Cinram Group Inc. (CGI), a wholly-owned affiliate of Najafi Companies (Najafi), is one of the world’s largest providers of media development and delivery services. Located in North America and Europe, the company has worked with some of the biggest names in home entertainment and retail. With a full range of supply chain services, which include optical disc manufacturing (DVD, Blu-ray and CD), packaging, distribution and business solutions, Cinram guarantees products flow smoothly and profitably to consumers around the world.

About Najafi Companies

Najafi Companies is an international private investment firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, with offices in New York, Paris, Toronto and holdings in sectors including consumer, media, technology, industrial, energy and real estate across seven countries. The firm makes highly-selective investments in companies with strong management teams across a variety of industries, often in areas undergoing rapid technological transformation. The firm takes a long-term view on its investments and focuses its efforts to create value through growth and superior performance. Najafi Companies funds its investments with internally generated capital, not through a fund. Free from the restrictions of a fund, the firm is able to move quickly and decisively when investing, and with no requirements to return capital to outside partners, Najafi Companies is able to make investments that create maximum value for the long-term.

SOURCE Cinram Group Inc.
For further information:

Jay Ennis
Cinram Group Inc.
1 416 562 1457

Tracey Milham
Saffron Digital
+44 20 7404 6333 / +44 7951 789 938

Greg Sexton/Anne Robertson
The Lavidge Company
1 480 998 2600

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.