Entertainment One completes acquisition of Sierra Pictures

Entertainment OneEntertainment One has completed the purchase of the remaining stake in feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures, in which it first invested in 2015. As part of the move, Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg have joined the company as president of film and executive VP of film and global operations, respectively. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sierra Pictures has backed the likes of “Tully,” “American Animals,” and the upcoming adaptation of James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces.” In his new role, Meyer will oversee all film content across eOne, while remaining CEO of Sierra/Affinity, the international sales company that is wholly owned by eOne. Schaberg will also continue as COO of Sierra/Affinity in addition to taking on his new role at eOne. Sierra/Affinity will remain independently operated.

eOne’s CEo Darren Throop said, “Welcoming Sierra to eOne is an important next step in our strategy to increase our direct involvement and ownership in content. Together, we will continue to build strong relationships with high-profile creative talent domestically and abroad”.

Canada, Toronto & USA, Beverly Hills, CA

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Entertainment One acquires 51% stake in The Mark Gordon Company for $132.6M

Entertainment One Ltd (eOne) is acquiring a 51% stake in The Mark Gordon Company creating an independent studio joint venture that will produce and finance premium television and film content for the major US networks and international distribution. The deal includes the rights owned by MGC to its existing television and film library as well as its current and future production pipeline. eOne will distribute new content created by the joint venture, subject to existing contractual commitments.

Under the terms of the agreement, eOne will acquire 51% of MGC from The Mark Gordon Revocable Trust for $132.6 million, comprising $127.5 million in cash and $5.1 million in eOne shares (based on a 30-day volume weighted average share price) payable on completion of the deal, with the opportunity to acquire the remaining 49% after an initial seven-year term.

Mark Gordon, who founded MGC in 1987, is a well known film and television producer. MGC hits, include television shows Grey’s Anatomy (228 episodes), Criminal Minds (221 episodes) and Ray Donovan (36 episodes). MGC has also produced box office successes, including Speed, 2012, The Day after Tomorrow, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot and Source Code. Mark Gordon brings to the venture deep active relationships with leading creative talent and all the major US studios and networks.

The transaction will be financed through a US$175 million extension to the Company’s existing banking facility and is expected to be earnings enhancing for the Group in the first full year of the investment. In the year ended 31 December 2013, MGC reported net income of US$13.2 million, adjusted EBITDA of US$30.0 million and gross assets of US$3.4 million. As part of the joint venture agreement, Mark Gordon has entered into a new long term employment agreement with MGC.

Darren Throop, President and Chief Executive Officer of Entertainment One 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 Company creates first-class content that has been entertaining audiences around the world for many years and is the first significant acquisition for eOne since the launch of our new strategy to partner with world leading creative talent to bring the best content to the world. The business will continue to operate as it does today and we are delighted to welcome MGC into the wider eOne family.”

UK, London & USA

Entertainment One acquires Paperny Entertainment 

eoneEntertainment One Ltd has agreed to acquire the Paperny Entertainment group of companies, an independent television producer operating across Canada and the United States, from the Paperny Sellers.

Paperny comprises:  Paperny Entertainment Inc. and Altamont Holdings Ltd.

The Paperny Sellers comprise:  David Paperny, Audrey Mehler, Cal Shumiatcher, Completion Investments Inc., Playtime Investments Ltd., 0865631 B.C. Ltd. and CS Family Trust.

Based in Vancouver, with operations in Toronto and New York, Paperny specialises in the development and production of non-scripted television programming, including a range of character-driven documentaries, reality shows and comedies.   Its roster of recent and returning programming includes: Chow Masters (Travel Channel (US)), Cold Water Cowboys (Discovery Channel (Canada)), Chopped Canada (Food Network (Canada)), and Yukon Gold (History Channel (Canada)).

papernyPaperny is being acquired for a total consideration of approximately C$29.2 million, satisfied by the issue of 2,571,803 common shares in Entertainment One Ltd. (the “Consideration Shares”) and approximately C$14.5 million in cash.

In the year to 31 December 2013, Paperny generated unaudited revenue of C$17.6 million and unaudited net income before income taxes of C$5.1 million.  As at 31 December 2013, Paperny had unaudited gross assets of C$20.3 million.

Paperny is led by David Paperny (Founder and President), Audrey Mehler (Founder and Executive Vice President), and Cal Shumiatcher (Executive Vice President).  Following completion, these three will remain with the business on new long term employment contracts.

It is expected that completion will take place on or around 31 July 2014.  In completing the acquisition of Paperny, in respect of the Consideration Shares, application will be made to the UK Listing Authority and the London Stock Exchange for 2,571,803 common shares in Entertainment One Ltd. to be admitted to the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange.  The shares shall rank pari passu with the existing common shares of the Company.

Darren Throop, Chief Executive Officer, commented: 

“We are delighted that the Paperny team is joining eOne.  Under the leadership of David, Audrey and Cal, Paperny has grown significantly and has developed an excellent reputation for producing high quality, non-scripted television content.  As part of our enlarged TV business, we look forward to continuing that development and realising further international distribution opportunities across the eOne Group.”

UK, London & Canada, Vancouver