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Tim Beddows, the managing director of Hammer Films co-founder Network Distributing, has died. He was 59.

His death on Nov. 18 was described as a “terrible shock to everyone who knew him both personally and professionally.” His team are said to be devastated but “committed to continuing his legacy and building upon Network’s position of strength as a leader in the U.K. home entertainment market.”

Beddows founded the distribution company in 1997. Under his guidance, Network Distributing struck an output deal with ITV, acquired the Rapido library and co-founded Hammer Studios with iconic British brand Hammer Films.

“For the past four years, I’ve had the honour of running the company alongside Tim, as we positioned Network as the strong market leader it is today,” said Jonathan Lack, director at Network. “We are all devastated by his passing but the whole Network team understood Tim’s dreams for the future of the business and we are committed to delivering that dream, and building upon his legacy for our stakeholders and customers.”

Steve Rogers, head of product development at the company, added: “His legacy is huge and this work will continue. Always forward thinking, Tim had started to plan for the next five to ten years, so he will remain a very real presence at Network in both its outlook and content output. Together we will take the company forward with his vision, and he’ll be with us on the continuing journey.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.