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eOne buys Alliance Films

Indie distrib fetches $229 million

LONDON — eOne has acquired Alliance Films for C$225 million ($229 million) in a deal that with make eOne the largest independent film distributor in the U.K. and Canada, it was announced Friday.

“The combination of eOne and Alliance Films will create the leading global independent film distribution business, which alongside our Television and Family divisions will deliver a strong strategic platform for long-term growth,” said Darren Throop, president and CEO at eOne.

The purchase of Alliance from affiliates of GS Capital Partners and Invertissement Quebec provides eOne with an international footprint across Canada, U.K., Ireland, Spain, Australia, Benelux and the U.S.

eOne first revealed it was in negotiations to purchase Alliance Films in May.

“As a result of the acquisition, eOne will be a more competitive business in each of the markets we serve, allowing us to act as a more valuable partner for content producers and expanding the quality and depth of the content that we offer to our customers,” added Throop.

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It also brings increased access to the most successful independent film studios through output agreements in Canada, including with The Weinstein Company, Focus Features and Relativity.

Alliance Film’s slate includes Toronto Film Festival opener “Looper,” “Dredd,” “Hyde Park on Hudson,” “Anna Karenina,” “Seven Psychopaths” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

“eOne and Alliance Films share similar values,” said Victor Loewy, chairman and CEO of Alliance Films. “We both have a strong commitment to supporting film, culture and talent in Canada and in each of our territories. Joining the eOne family will provide our dedicated teams and partners more opportunities to work with great films and film makers from around the globe.”

Alliance-owned Momentum Pictures in the U.K. and Aurum in Spain rank as the 8th biggest distributors in their markets for 2012.

Momentum has a 3.78% market share in the U.K./Ireland with a collective box office of £29.7 million ($47 million), led by the success of homegrown hit “The Woman in Black,” the 9th biggest film of the year to date ($33.6 million).

eOne Films is 10th among U.K. distributors for 2012 with a market share of 2.38% and box office of $29.3 million. eOne’s biggest U.K. film so far this year is the animation “A Monster in Paris” ($5.3 million).

Aurum has a 4.78% market share in Spain with a collective box office of Euros18.6 million ($23.9 million). The distributor’s top title of 2012 is “The Expendables 2” ($5.3 million).

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