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EOne Acquires 51% Stake in the Mark Gordon Co. for $133 Million

Mark Gordon: 'We are building an alternative to the traditional studio way'

LONDON — The U.K.- and Canada-based film and TV company Entertainment One has acquired a 51% stake in the Mark Gordon Co., the production outfit behind “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Saving Private Ryan.” The deal is worth $132.6 million.

The partners will create an independent studio that will finance and produce movies and TV shows for the networks, cable channels and digital platforms for eOne to distribute internationally. Mark Gordon will take the role of chief executive officer at the studio, which will remain L.A.-based. As well as producing Gordon’s TV shows and films, the new company will finance projects by other producers. Gordon said the partners “are building an alternative to the traditional studio way.”

As part of the deal eOne will be able to buy the remaining 49% in the Mark Gordon Co. after seven years. In the year to Dec. 31, 2013, the Mark Gordon Co. reported net income of $13.2 million and cash-flow of $30 million, according to the Financial Times. The company was created by Gordon in 1987.

Gordon’s other TV credits include “Criminal Minds,” “Army Wives” and “Ray Donovan.” His movie hits include “Speed,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Patriot,” “2012” and “Source Code.”

The Mark Gordon Co. is in production on several television series, including “Grey’s Anatomy” for ABC, “Criminal Minds” for CBS and “Benched,” a courtroom comedy starring Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington, for USA network. The company is set to begin production on the third season of the Showtime drama “Ray Donovan,” starring Liev Schreiber, in early 2015.

Forthcoming projects from its film division include the “Untitled Steve Jobs Biopic,” written by Aaron Sorkin with Danny Boyle attached to direct, and “Arms and the Dudes,” with Todd Phillips directing and starring Jonah Hill.

The Mark Gordon Co., which will complete its current contract with ABC Studios, will continue to develop and produce film content across all genres, including the production of studio films, the companies said. EOne’s U.S. television business will continue to develop, finance and produce scripted and alternative programming, independently of the new venture.

Gordon said in a statement: “As producers, we have been successful in bringing the vision of talented creators to large audiences. We can now expand our contribution to include financing and strong global distribution. There is a voracious appetite for premium original content worldwide. In order to realize the true value of our content, retention of rights ownership and control of international distribution are musts.”

He added: “In eOne, we have found partners that share our vision of supporting the creators and are immersed in the international marketplace with great ambitions to expand in the U.S. Together, we are building an alternative to the traditional studio way.”

Darren Throop, president and CEO of eOne, said: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Mark and his team. Mark brings a wealth of experience and talent to the table. The Mark Gordon Co. creates first-class content and has been entertaining audiences around the world for many years. As eOne continues to build its global platform, partnering with strong creative companies like the Mark Gordon Co. is right on strategy, and I am very excited to welcome them to the larger eOne family.”

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