Entertainment One on buying spree

Acquires TV prod'n, distrib companies

Canuck producer-distrib Entertainment One has acquired TV production companies Blueprint Entertainment and Barna-Alper Prods., Toronto-based international TV distributor Oasis Intl., and Canuck film distributor Maximum Films.

The completion of the deal, unveiled in July, makes Entertainment One a significant player on the Canuck film and TV scene.

Over the past two years, Entertainment One has snapped up Seville Pictures in Canada, Contender Entertainment in the U.K., and RCV Entertainment in Holland and Belgium.

Blueprint’s productions include “Kenny vs. Spenny,” “Til Death Do Us Part” and “Greek.” Barna-Alper is one of the country’s top production houses with shows including “Da Vinci’s Inquest” and Celine Dion bio-pic “Celine,” which will air next month on Canuck pubcaster CBC.

Oasis, which has a library of 3,000 titles, will handle sales for all of Entertainment One’s TV content while Seville will take care of theatrical pics.

Toronto-based Maximum, founded by producer and distributor Robert Lantos last year, operates in domestic and international film distribution.

All of the acquisitions have been integrated into the filmed entertainment division, headed by Patrice Theroux. That division also includes Contender and RCV Entertainment.

“With the closing of these transactions, Entertainment One’s filmed entertainment division is now in a great position to pursue a wide range of commercial opportunities,” said Theroux. “Not only have we created a television company that is a force to be reckoned with in North America, but we’ve expanded our theatrical market share in Canada and positioned the company to grow significantly in international film sales and distribution.”

Entertainment One also announced Wednesday that Lantos has been appointed to the board as a non-executive director, with Mark Trachuk resigning as a non-executive director.

Lantos — whose production credits include “Eastern Promises” and “Fugitive Pieces” — continues to own production company Serendipity Point Films.

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