Sales division to focus on prod'n deals

LONDON — Icon U.K. Group confirmed on Tuesday that Lionsgate U.K. will distribute and release certain Icon film rights in Blighty through a multi-year partnership following the closure of its U.K. distribution arm.

Sources close to the company could not reveal the specifics of the partnership, as terms still remain unclear as to what portion of the library Lionsgate will be buying.

On Monday, Variety revealed that Icon was shuttering its distribution biz to focus more on production and financing pics, and that Lionsgate was believed to be buying the U.K. library.

Sources said that increased industry speculation had forced the company to make a formal announcement about the future direction of the company.

Following a strategic review, a statement revealed that Icon U.K.’s international sales division “will sharpen its focus on acquiring new projects by seeking out production deals to source original content, while retaining its core business of selling production to international distributors.”

It is still unclear how long the sales division will remain at the company, but for now it appears to be intact.

It is also still unclear which jobs will be axed at the London-based operation but, as reported by Variety on Monday, sources indicate that roughly 20 positions will be chopped.

Last week, Icon tapped Aviv Giladi as CEO of the company. He is chairman of Israeli media company R.G.E. Group and non-exec director on the board of Ealing Studios.

“I am hugely excited about the prospect of engaging with directors and producers to source and create the most compelling independent movies possible,” said Giladi in a statement. “Content creation is central to my career and I invite the world’s film talent to come and talk to us at Icon about projects we can partner with.”

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