Creative Planet, Inc., a business-to-business solutions firm for the film and TV production industries and parent company of Animation World Network, has announced that it has received US$30 million in financing from United News & Media PLC, a $6 billion media and market information company based in London. In addition, Creative Planet has acquired United News "The Knowledge," an industry-standard database of film and TV production professionals in the U.K and Ireland. As part of the deal, United News gains exclusive sales and marketing rights in the U.K. and Ireland for all Creative Planet products and services. Moreover, United CEO Clive Hollick will join Creative Planet's board of directors, which includes Frank Biondi, former CEO of Viacom, Universal and HBO; Jack Valenti, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America; Ted Leonsis, president, Interactive Properties Group, AOL; and Alan Meckler, CEO of internet.com and founder of Internet World. This agreement marks the completion of Creative Planet's largest individual backer. Creative Planet will use the money to merge standard professional tools with new, Internet, wireless and e-commerce applications to deliver new efficiencies to film and TV production. "With the requisite backing and assets in place, Creative Planet's 2001 focus is squarely on accelerating to profitability, and delivering the products and services our customers want," said Allen DeBevoise, chairman and CEO, Creative Planet, Inc. "United's investment represents a resounding endorsement of our market strategy and an important partnership for global expansion and infrastructure development." Hollick said: "We are committed to building leading positions in the markets we serve, whether alone or in partnership with strong market players. Creative Planet shares our vision for revolutionizing the provision of services to the film and TV production industry, and together we will make this a reality. Creative Planet's suite of products greatly enhances our service offering in the European market. As well as providing our customers with unrivalled B2B information and marketing opportunities, we can now offer them the tools to make their businesses more efficient and effective. We have significantly strengthened our position in this valuable and growing global B2B market sector." Biondi said, "As we enter a new era of Internet investing, Creative Planet represents a uniquely promising opportunity. With deep product penetration, strong industry support and powerful Internet and e-commerce solutions, the company is in the lead to help innovate the $100 billion global film and television production industries. It is my great pleasure to welcome Lord Hollick and United News & Media to Creative Planet's board of directors." Valenti said, "The magical new digital world will grow larger and more pervasive with each passing year and along with it, the business value of the Internet. We are proud that Creative Planet will have the embrace of United's visionary wisdom. The best is yet to come."