MONTREAL — Canuck distributor Entertainment One is acquiring RCV Entertainment, a leading film distrib in the Netherlands and Belgium, as it continues in its quest to become a mini-major.
Denmark-based publisher Sanoma Magazines had announced in the fall that it was considering selling RCV because it was not a core asset. Financial details were not disclosed.
Toronto-based Entertainment One has been expanding ever since it was bought last year by British hedge fund Marwyn Investment Management and relaunched as a public company in the U.K.
It bought U.K. distrib Contender Entertainment Group, Canuck distributor Seville Pictures and signed a long-term output deal with Summit Entertainment for Canada and the U.K.
RCV has a library of 1,900 pics and, last year, handled a number of major theatrical releases in Holland and Belgium, including “The Golden Compass,” “Premonition,” “Miss Potter” and “Resident Evil: Extinction.”
Upcoming pics for RCV include “Bangkok Dangerous” with Nicolas Cage; “The Eye” starring Jessica Alba; “Sleuth”; “In the Valley of Elah”; “August Rush”; “Rendition”; the Martin Scorsese-directed Rolling Stones docu “Shine a Light”; Ed Zwick’s “Defiance”; and “Blindness,” starring Julianne Moore and Gael Garcia Bernal.
Entertainment One CEO Darren Throop said his company hopes to make other acquisitions in Europe.
“Our goal is to have a big chunk of the global box office,” Throop said. “We want to be able to give a producer international distribution. We want to be one-stop shopping, to be a mini-major.”
Throop said the acquisition of RCV will make it easier for Entertainment One to pick up quality pics because it can offer distribution in Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands and Belgium.
The key RCV execs — CEO Jan Kouwenhoven and chief operating officer Joke Wartenbergh — have both signed long-term employment contracts to stay with RCV and maintain continuity.
The RCV library, which Entertainment One has acquired, accounted for more than 40% of the company’s revenue in 2006. Pics in the library include “What Women Want,” “Sin City,” “Perfume,” “La Vie en rose,” “The Notebook” and “Blade.”
RCV will become part of Entertainment One’s filmed entertainment division that is run by Patrice Theroux.