Canadian venture exiting L.A.

CDP saying goodbye to Hollywood

This article was corrected on July 15, 2003.

CDP Capital Entertainment, the joint venture between Henry Winterstern and CDP Capital Communications, has pulled up stakes in Hollywood.

The move was anticipated (Daily Variety, July 8).

CDP Capital Entertainment was the Los Angeles outpost of beleaguered Quebec pension fund Caisse de Depot.

The largest pension fund in Canada, the CDP fund lost more than $6 billion in 2002. Sluggish stock markets were blamed, with technology and media holdings taking a particularly hard hit.

The pension fund was in better shape when Winterstern opened CDP’s Los Angeles office in late 2001 to act as its Hollywood overseer.

On CDP’s behalf Winterstern took a minority stake in Mosaic Media Group and 50% of music publisher Mosaic Publishing, among other investments.

CDP also acquired Dick Clark Prods. for $140 million. Clark, CDP and the Bronfman family’s Claridge Investments now hold the company.

“There’s no capital requirements at any of these companies,” Mosaic president Allen Shapiro told Daily Variety. “They’re all operating well and will continue to.”

Separate from Mosaic, CDP also holds a 2% stake in MGM and a minority stake in Lakeshore Entertainment.

Winterstern also backed Stewart Till’s ill-fated Signpost Films, only to watch it fold a year later.

CDP execs will be appointed as board members on all of Hollywood’s CDP holdings, replacing Winterstern.

Winterstern met with CDP toppers in Montreal last Thursday to discuss his division’s future in Hollywood. While a CDP spokesman stated that entertainment is no longer a priority for the fund, Winterstern’s own status is unclear.

CDP stopped short of saying that Winterstern, a Canadian citizen, was no longer associated with the company.

However, a statement released by CDP said, “Major differences of opinion have appeared since January between CDP Capital Communications and its partner in CDP Capital Entertainment, Henry Winterstern, on both the interpretation of agreements and on the best way to further the goals of CDP Capital Communications in the entertainment sector.”

CDP added that Winterstern was never an employee but declined to further define the relationship.

Shapiro said, “We enjoyed working with Henry, and we’re not part of any discussions between him and Caisse.”

A representative for Winterstern had no comment.

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