×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Goldman Sachs puts Alliance Films on the market

Canadian distrib also runs Momentum, Aurum

As Wall Street begins to cautiously re-enter Hollywood, Goldman Sachs is cashing out.

The company is putting up for sale its two-thirds stake in Alliance Films, the Canadian finance and distribution operation which backed “Insidious,” “The King’s Speech” and “Shame.”

Investissement Quebec, the Quebec government’s investment division which owns the remaining share, is selling its portion as well, according to an individual with knowledge of the transaction. Bank of Montreal is handling the sale.

Sale of the company, which was first reported by the Financial Times, would include Canadian and other rights to a library of more than 11,000 films, as well as Canadian distribution rights for pics from Relativity, Lionsgate Entertainment, Focus Features, the Weinstein Company and CBS Films. Sale would also include rights to release Relativity’s pics in the U.K. through Momentum.

IQ is shifting its investment focus away from film, according to sources with knowledge of the company, and is turning its eye toward natural resource projects as well as the creation of advanced materials and new technologies.

Goldman’s reasons for selling were not immediately clear, but observers close to the company said its decision did not come as a surprise.

While the financial crisis of 2008 saw a mass stock market exodus from the entertainment biz, some banks and institutional investors have slowly started re-entering the entertainment space, or decided to enter for the first time. And some of those relative newcomers – like SunTrust and OneWest Bank — have been instrumental in some of the largest film company refinancings over the past 12 months.

SunTrust was one of the principal banks involved in Legendary’s $700 million credit facility; both banks participated in New Regency’s $500 million credit line. Both transactions closed last year.

Other companies are finding a renewed source of leverage from their film libraries. Miramax, for example, was able to raise about $500 million from institutional investors, in large part due to its projected future digital licensing agreements from its older titles.

Reports of Alliance’s sale come just six months after the company acquired Maple Pictures from Lionsgate for about $40 million.

Alliance Films is one of two major Canadian distribs — the other being Toronto-based eOne — with operations in the U.K. though Momentum and in Spain through Aurum. Company first came under partial government ownership in 2008, when the Societe Generale de Financement bought a 38.5% stake for $102 million, giving the investment arm a 51% of the voting shares. Goldman Sachs took a stake in Alliance Films in 2007. Alliance Films was formerly Motion Picture Distribution, an income trust controlled by Alliance Atlantis Communications. EdgeStone and Goldman Sachs took over the company after the rest of Alliance Atlantis was bought by CanWest Global that year.

Alliance Films declined to comment. Goldman Sachs and IQ did not return requests for comment.

More Film

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • 'St. Bernard Syndicate' Review: A Quietly

    Film Review: 'St. Bernard Syndicate'

    John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan may have received major award nominations this season for their fine work in “Stan & Ollie,” but there’s arguably a superior Laurel & Hardy tribute act to be found in the droll Danish comedy “St. Bernard Syndicate.” As a pair of bumbling losers who turn an already dubious business [...]

  • With PGA win, 'Green Book' is

    Oscars: With PGA Victory, 'Green Book' Becomes Best Picture Frontrunner

    Save for a pair of recent back-to-back discrepancies in “The Big Short” and “La La Land,” the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures has been a fairly reliable barometer for the annual Oscar season outcome. At least, ever since both the PGA and film Academy expanded their top categories, sharing the [...]

  • Peter Farrelly30th Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    PGA Awards: 'Green Book' Wins Top Feature Film Award

    “Green Book” has won the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award as the top feature film of 2018. The 1960s drama-comedy topped “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite,”  “A Quiet Place,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice. “When you make ‘Dumb and Dumber’ you never expect to get an award,” [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Andy Gruenberg, Veteran Film Executive, Dies at 68

    Veteran film executive Andy Gruenberg, who most recently oversaw theatrical distribution at Netflix, died suddenly on Friday. He was 68. Gruenberg worked on classic films like “Ghostbusters,” “Karate Kid” and “Silverado” while at Columbia Pictures in the 80s and 90s. He then moved to MGM where he served as exec VP of distribution. There he [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content