Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Rubicon, a pioneering animation, edutainment and multimedia company in Jordan, announced today (June 24, 2007) a new multi-level business alliance designed to create multiple business activities throughout the region while also impacting local and regional employment opportunities.
It initially targets three specific areas of business. First is financing and co-producing of PINK PANTHER & PALS, an animated television series based on MGM's Pink Panther characters. Rubicon will share in the revenue generated from MGM's international distribution of the property and will also develop regional licensing and merchandising opportunities for the joint production. The partners will also explore financing and co-production opportunities for a variety of media, entertainment projects and properties in the Middle East and North Africa.
Secondly, Rubicon will serve as MGM's licensing and merchandising agent in the Greater Middle East and North Africa regions, overseeing the development of licensed products and services for MGM entertainment properties in close collaboration with MGM.
Third, Rubicon will explore Location Based Entertainment (LBE) opportunities for the MGM brand, combining MGM's LBE concepts, such as theme parks and mixed-use real estate ventures with Rubicon's broad geographic and cultural knowledge and its relationships in the region to facilitate LBE business ventures. MGM will seek to include Rubicon's localized content along with MGM's library of more than 4,000 films and television programs as a rich resource catalogue for use in LBE opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa.
The MGM Rubicon initiative was announced at the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman, by Travis Rutherford, evp for MGM, and Randa Ayoubi, ceo for Rubicon.
"As an iconic entertainment brand, MGM has always set the standard for quality entertainment and brand extension," said MGM's Rutherford. "We're excited to be in partnership with Rubicon and look forward to positioning MGM and PINK PANTHER & PALS in the Middle East. Moreover, it gives me great personal satisfaction to know that in addition to this partnership being good business; it will also create high value jobs that will ensure the further the growth of Jordan's entertainment industry."
Rubicon's chairman Fawaz H. Zu'bi, said, "I have always been of the opinion that Jordan is the ideal destination for companies such as MGM to forge solid and long-lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial. With entrepreneurs who are hard working and who have discipline, determination and vision, Jordan offers skill, a dynamic talent pool and a very vibrant springboard to the Middle East Region."
"This landmark alliance is testimony to Rubicon's ability to leverage Jordanian talent to create world-class content that is now attracting global attention," said Ayoubi. "This alliance cements Rubicon's and Jordan's stature, opening the door for a chain reaction of opportunities that will take Jordan to the next level in entertainment and content provisioning. It will assert Rubicon's position as a leading media and entertainment player and a dominant content provider to the Greater Middle East and North Africa markets. All of this is good news for Jordan and its dynamic, creative talent."
Ayoubi continued: "A brand new industry has been created in Jordan, an industry that would take us higher up in the value chain. We did not need to take this success anywhere else in the region to make it shine; we chose to plant it here in Amman."
Numerous personalities from Amman's elite business community and senior execs from MGM Studios attended the announcement ceremony where they saw a preview of Rubicon's various productions, including the state-of-the-art children's animation series, BEN & IZZY, which was launched in the U.S. under the patronage of Queen Rania in 2006.
The MGM Rubicon partnership was facilitated and established by Baman Rusby of Atoka International Llc., a boutique advisory services firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. in cooperation with Charles J. Weber of Los Angeles.
The MGM Rubicon partnership is also supported by Saraya Holdings, which is heading a group of investors injecting a new round of capital into Rubicon. The funding will be used to leverage Rubicon's content & IP creation skill set, as well as its 2D and 3D animation production capabilities. Saraya Ventures and the group of investors will also capitalize on the MGM/Rubicon relationship in LBEs, theme parks and hotels.
Rubicon is one of the foremost 2D and 3D animation studios in Jordan, working with international movie studios, such as FatRock, in addition to its growing relationship with regional networks, such as the Arab Radio & Television (ART) and Cartoon Channel. The company is also active in the fields of e-training and e-education, database-driven websites, enterprise solutions, corporate profiling, web-topped internal policies and procedures, orientation presentations and web marketing.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (www.mgm.com) is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,000 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Ent. Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Ent. Llc., MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 110 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corp. of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%).