LONDON — Revlon mogul Ron Perelman is reportedly one of three shortlisted bidders to buy Deluxe Film Services from its parent company Rank Group.
Rank has been trying to find a way for several years to dispose of Deluxe, which makes and distributes videos and DVDs.
But it has been hampered by the fact that the Hollywood studios that are Deluxe’s most important clients all have change-of-control clauses in their contracts, and therefore have a say over any potential sale.
As recently as September, Rank chief exec was forced to abandon an attempt to de-merge Deluxe via a flotation. Since then the company has been touting for trade or private equity buyers.
Deluxe is reported to have attracted offers in the region of $800 million.
Deluxe is Rank’s last toehold in the film business, having sold Odeon Cinemas, Pinewood Studios and Rank Film Distributors over the past decade. The sale of De-luxe will enable it to focus on its core leisure businesses, primarily gambling and restaurants.
However, by getting rid of Deluxe, Rank itself is likely to become a bid target for private equity groups looking to break up the company. Deluxe has long been seen as a poison pill for any takeover bid.
Perelman owns and co-chairs Panavision, which rents out film equipment, and pre-viously owned Deluxe’s main rival Technicolor.