Summit biz affairs head Matosich ankles

Will launch media rights and development shingle with first-look deal

Summit Entertainment head of business affairs Andrew Matosich is leaving the studio to start an acquisitions and development shingle with a first-look deal at his soon-to-be former company, Variety has learned.

Matosich is ankling Summit of his own accord; his departure is not a part of the layoffs that stemmed from its January acquisition by Lionsgate, sources say. Variety first reported Tuesday that at least four key Summit executives were let go as part of the integration, and more layoffs are expected.

Matosich became Summit’s general counsel and business affairs head in 1995, focusing exclusively on business affairs when Summit re-launched as a full-service mini-major in 2007. Named one of Variety’s top Hollyood dealmakers of 2011 in December, Matosich helped negotiate the studio’s acquisition of “The Twilight Saga” and has overseen all talent deals and production financing.

More recently, he was responsible for negotiating a co-financing deal between Summit, OddLot and Digital Domain for “Ender’s Game,” slated for a March 2013 release; a co-financing and distribution agreement between Summit and RCR Media for the “Highlander” franchise; and the acquisition of “The Night Circus,” which David Heyman is producing produce.