U Canada, Alliance form video venture

Pact cements ties between companies

MONTREAL — Universal Studios Canada and Alliance Communications Corp. announced Friday that they have formed a new joint venture, Universal/Alliance Video Distribution, to handle both companies’ videos in Canada.

The new agreement cements the ties between the studio and the Canadian indie, which have worked together in the video field for over a decade.

Until now, Universal took care of most of the nuts-and-bolts distribution work for Alliance’s videos in Canada, while Alliance handled all of the marketing for its own titles.

Under the new arrangement, all sales and distribution will be performed under the Universal/Alliance Video Distribution banner, including sales solicitation, warehousing, shipping, returns processing, inventory management, collection and credit. Both Universal and Alliance will continue to do their own marketing for video titles.

Patrice Theroux, executive vice president of Alliance Motion Picture Distribution, estimates that the new company will gen-erate around C$150 million ($103 million) worth of sales this year, making it one of the leading video players in Canada. The joint venture will create significant savings for both companies, which became particularly important for Alliance following its recent acquisition of 75% of Cineplex Odeon Films and the addition of the Artisan library, said Theroux.

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