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Peace Arch mulls ContentFilm bid

Sagansky may create large-scale indie

LONDON — Canada’s Peace Arch Entertainment has announced that it is considering a £34.8 million ($69.3 million) takeover bid for ContentFilm, the London-based sales and distribution company.

The news came as ContentFilm announced half-year net profits down 76% to $896,000, and sales down 5% to $20.3 million.

The potential bid from Peace Arch values Content at 20 pence (39.8 cents) per share, a 25% premium above its opening price Dec. 20 on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

Content’s business includes the TV sales division Fireworks Intl., the film sales outfit ContentFilm Intl., and a North American DVD distrib Allumi-nation Filmworks.

The company blamed its first-half performance on “challenging” market conditions for Allumination, and a “quiet” six months for ContentFilm. Sales at Fireworks, however, continued to be “very strong” and “in excess of expectations.”

Peace Arch CEO Jeff Sagansky said the proposed takeover of Content-Film would create “one of the strongest independent film sales companies in the business,” as well as making Peace Arch “one of the top international suppliers of high-quality TV program-ming and … one of the largest inde-pendent DVD distributors in North America.”

Former Tristar and CBS topper Sagansky and his business partner Kerry McCluggage, the former chair-man of Paramount TV Group, are key investors in both Peace Arch and ContentFilm.

Sagansky recently signalled that their long-term plan is to consolidate their investments to create a large-scale indie capable of competing with the Hollywood majors (Daily Variety, 12/17).

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