Echo Bridge Entertainment has today signed an agreement to acquire, through a share purchase, Alliance Atlantis International Distribution from Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.
As a result of this transaction, Echo Bridge Entertainment would distribute rights to first run and catalog programming from Alliance Atlantis International Distribution worldwide, excluding Canada.
The announcement was made today by Michael Rosenblatt, Chairman, President and CEO of Echo Bridge Entertainment. The parties anticipate that the transaction will close within the next three weeks, subject to the completion of customary closing conditions. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The new deal follows Echo Bridge Entertainment's November 2007 corporate credit agreement with JPMorgan Securities, which allows the company to launch an aggressive growth strategy to acquire new product and programming assets and to significantly expand its worldwide sales infrastructure.
The acquisition of Alliance Atlantis International Distribution would add approximately 7,500 titles and over 5,500 hours of programming to Echo Bridge Entertainment's existing catalog of over 3,500 titles, creating one of the world's largest independent catalogs consisting of more than 11,000 titles.
The portfolio of distribution rights features well-known international brands in categories including feature films, primetime television movies and series, children's series, and lifestyle and factual programming, which Echo Bridge Entertainment intends to exploit across all media.
The deal also confirms the company's commitment to acquiring and delivering new first run quality programming to the market, in keeping with the strategy and maintaining the relationships established by Alliance Atlantis International Distribution.
In the international market, program sales will be spearheaded by Daniel March, Executive Vice President, Echo Bridge Entertainment, who will begin offering programming to broadcasters at this year's MIP-TV market in Cannes, France, in April.
In the U.S. home entertainment market, the new titles would be distributed by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment under the direction of Nate Hart and Mike Newcomb, Co-Presidents of the division.
Kevin Tannehill, Head of Domestic Television, will oversee all U.S. television, VOD and Digital sales.
In the kids' arena are 46 half-hour episodes of the pre-school series LUNAR JIM, the popular stop-motion animated series that transports kids into a world of discovery in Lunar Jim's village on the moon. Fisher Price holds the worldwide master toy license. Also for kids are 39 half-hours of the Gemini Award-winning, CGI-animated DRAGON BOOSTER.
Multiple Gemini Award-winning primetime drama series include 91 episodes of DA VINCI'S INQUEST, starring Nicholas Campbell and Ian Tracey; 67 episodes of DUE SOUTH, starring Paul Gross; 88 episodes of PSI FACTOR: CHRONICLES OF THE PARANORMAL, starring Michael Moriarty, Matt Frewer and Dan Aykroyd as the host; 22 episodes of TOTAL RECALL 2070, starring Matthew Bennett; and 110 episodes of GENE RODDENBERRY'S EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT.
Primetime movies include HITLER: RISE OF EVIL, winner of two primetime Emmy Awards and starring Robert Carlyle, Stockard Channing, Julianna Margulies and Matthew Modine; the multiple Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated NUREMBERG, starring Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox and Christopher Plummer; and the Humanitas Prize Award-winner and Golden Globe-nominated historical World War II drama HAVEN, starring Natasha Richardson, Colm Feore, Hal Holbrook and Anne Bancroft.
The teen category features the multiple award-winning DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION with 143 available episodes and starring Young Artist Award-winner Miriam McDonald; and the 52 episode musical drama INSTANT STAR, starring Gemini Award-winner Alexz Johnson.
Both series air in the U.S. on MTV Networks' The N. In its inaugural season, INSTANT STAR became the network's second-highest rated program, trailing only the network's hit signature series DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION.