When Entertainment One agreed to buy Canadian rival Alliance Film for $225 million in September, it certainly knew the property because Theroux had worked at Alliance for 18 years. The acquisition — which is conditioned on regulatory approvals — will boost eOne’s box office market share for Canada to around 20% because of Canadian output deals with top Hollywood indies, a percentage comparable to that of a Hollywood major. Theroux, who joined eOne in 2007, says, “I knew the company, but the due diligence is the same as always, with the verification of key contracts,” even though eOne already had an understanding of the Alliance business. Word of the merger talks leaked out early, which “wasn’t helpful,” according to Throop. The acquisition is partly financed by a $176 million sale of newly issued eOne stock, also in September, to existing shareholders via the London Stock Exchange. This, says Throop, shows that the investment community has confidence in the Alliance deal. With a foundation in music, eOne built its movie/TV business around the world through nine key acquisitions over six years. Throop says that eOne always looks for solid management and eOne’s good track record of digesting acquisitions often opens the doors.
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Outside the office: Throop: hunting and fishing. Theroux: fly fishing and bicycling
Top cause: Throop: assistant coach for his two daughters’ ice hockey team; Theroux: women’s shelter in Toronto.