Classic pix specialist sold for $2.6 mil

The U.K.’s Metrodome Group has acquired Hollywood Classics, which markets and distributes the international theatrical rights to classic studio films, for $2.6 million.

Former Metrodome CEO Peter Urie is returning to run Hollywood Classics.

Former Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson has joined Metrodome’s board and acquired a small stake in the company. Non-exec director Steve Winetroube has also joined Metrodome’s full-time management team as chief operating officer.

London-based Hollywood Classics represents theatrical rights to the libraries of Universal, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and the U.K. Film Council outside North America. Titles include “The Godfather,” “Casablanca” and “Some Like It Hot.”

As well as handling deals for theatrical re-releases and single screenings, it reps a growing number of studio titles for the DVD market plus more than 700 mostly European films for TV, DVD and VOD.

Hollywood Classics was founded in 1984 by Joe Dreier, who will stay with the company.

Metrodome’s business consists of two divisions — U.K. theatrical and DVD distribution, and worldwide TV sales through recently acquired Target Entertainment. The company’s library includes 4,000 hours of TV programming and 300 features.

The group, which is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market, funded the acquisition by raising $1.57 million through a placement of new shares and by converting $1.3 million of loan notes into equity.

Hollywood Classics reported a pre-tax profit of $830,000 on sales of $10.9 million in 2010.”This important acquisition is the next step in our mission to become one of the leading independent rights management groups in the U.K.,” Metrodome chairman Mark Webster commented. “Hollywood Classics is an excellent company and one which offers revenue upsides through scale and an international reach.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more