Co. distributes Lionsgate pics Down Under

SYDNEY — Ex-Fairfax Media CEO David Kirk has been tapped chairman of Hoyts, which operates 45 theaters with more than 400 screens in Australia and New Zealand.

Hoyts distributes Lionsgate pics Down Under, including the “Saw” franchise. It also released teen vampire hit “Twilight.”

Kirk, former captain of New Zealand national rugby team the All Blacks, joined Hoyts on Wednesday six months after resigning amid a power struggle at Fairfax, which runs radio stations and publishes newspapers including the Age.

Hoyts was part of Kerry Packer’s media empire before it was sold for a A$100 million ($80 million) loss in 2007 to private equity group Pacific Equity Partners.

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