Australia’s Becker family has sold its 43% stake in the film and TV business that has borne its name since it was founded in 1965, following an unsuccessful bid to relinquish control to key shareholder Prime Media and buy back the film assets.
Ex-chief exec Richard Becker and his father, company founder Russell Becker, sold their shares in Becker Ent. to Prime and resigned from the board after their sale and buyback scheme was successfully challenged by Dolphete, a minor shareholding company owned by Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey and accountant Colin Price.
Dolphete retains 12% in Becker Ent. but is unlikely to be able to acquire a bigger stake, if indeed that was the company’s intention when challenging the original deal.
Richard Becker oversaw Becker Ent. until last year, when he stepped back from day-to-day operations but remained on the board.
The company began as an indie distribber of TV programs but in the last 15 years it acquired a series of companies, which grew into its flagship divisions; the Dendy Cinema circuit, Oz and Kiwi distribber Dendy Films and rejuvenated sales division Becker Intl., which repped Ian Curtis doc “Control” at Cannes.
Prime Media, a division of regional broadcaster Prime Television, now holds 71% of Becker Ent. It has not said if it will offload the film divisions.