Tooning out on deal

Pentamedia's takeover of Film Roman in limbo

It suddenly appears that a planned takeover of TV and film animator Film Roman may be off, with parties working toward a stretched deadline of Friday for saving the deal.

Pentamedia, an India-based animation company, was set to acquire 60% of the North Hollywood firm for $15 million in cash.

Film Roman shareholders voted to approve that deal March 27, but the company announced Friday that directors had rejected unspecified new Pentamedia demands.

Execs were unavailable to discuss the situation Monday. But Film Roman said in a statement that talks were being held to try to hammer out a new, definitive agreement.

Greater stake

Pentamedia, which is based in Chennai and is the subcontinent’s largest animator, agreed in October to make a $15 million cash infusion in exchange for a 51% stake in Film Roman. When shares in the struggling animator dipped to penny-stock levels, the proposed stake was raised to 60%.

There was no immediate indication whether an even greater stake might figure in the latest Pentamedia demands. Film Roman shares closed down 6¢, or 8%, Monday at 69¢.

Best known for its work-for-hire on TV shows such as Fox’s “The Simpsons,” Film Roman has tried, with mixed results, to expand into proprietary productions. Recently, the company has been ramping up a film division.

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