/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF; Toronto), the
premier independent filmed entertainment production and distribution studio,
has acquired Redbus Film Distribution Limited, a leading independent UK film
distributor, in a combined cash and stock transaction valued at approximately
$35 million. The announcement was made today by Lions Gate Chief Executive
Officer Jon Feltheimer and Redbus co-founder and CEO Simon Franks.
Lions Gate will now have the ability to self-distribute its motion
pictures in the UK, one of the largest international territories outside North
America. Lions Gate has also acquired Redbus' library of rights to over 130
films, including the internationally-acclaimed blockbuster BEND IT LIKE
BECKHAM, JEEPERS CREEPERS, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES and THE GIFT.
Redbus' upcoming slate in the UK includes: the critically-acclaimed Venice
Film Festival opener GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, directed by George Clooney and
starring David Strathairn, Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson and
Jeff Daniels, to be released in the UK in February 2006; THE WICKER MAN, a
remake of the 1973 thriller written and directed by Neil LaBute, starring
Nicolas Cage, slated for September 2006 UK distribution; Bruce Beresford's THE
CONTRACT, starring John Cusack and Morgan Freeman; Michael Winterbottom's
TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY; and Alex Gibney's acclaimed
documentary ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM.
As part of the transaction, Lions Gate has signed long-term contracts with
Redbus cofounder Franks, distribution president Zygi Kamasa and head of
theatrical distribution Chris Bailey to run the day-to-day UK operations on an
entrepreneurial basis consistent with the Lions Gate and Redbus business
"The acquisition of Redbus is consistent with our commitment to make
accretive, strategic transactions to accelerate our growth and enhance margins
in our core businesses," said Feltheimer. "We are acquiring a company with a
strong distribution infrastructure, a valuable library and a gifted,
experienced and highly entrepreneurial senior management team. With the
addition of our theatrical product, catalog and the other resources we will
provide, we intend to mirror in the U.K. the successful growth strategy we
have executed in North America."
Lions Gate noted that it will continue to explore additional international
business opportunities, including undervalued and potentially accretive
library acquisitions. The Company also noted that, beginning in early 2006,
it will begin distributing a significant portion of its own library in the
U.K., including such titles as DIRTY DANCING and THE PRINCESS BRIDE.
"We are very excited to become part of the Lions Gate team and view this
transaction as a superb opportunity to take our business to the next level of
growth," said Franks. "The deal is a logical evolution of our longstanding
relationship with Lions Gate, and their powerful theatrical pipeline, track
record of successful acquisitions and dynamic, entrepreneurial culture are a
superb fit for Redbus. We believe that we are well positioned to deliver
revenue and earnings growth to Lions Gate."
"I look forward to working with Simon, Zygi, Chris and their team," said
Lions Gate International President Nick Meyer. "The Redbus transaction
expands our array of resources for maximizing the value of Lions Gate content
internationally and extends our control over the success of our product
pipeline. The acquisition comes at a time when the international market is
poised for additional growth in several key media sectors, including home
entertainment, television and digital distribution."
Redbus has recently distributed such Lions Gate hits as OPEN WATER and
CABIN FEVER in the UK and is already set to distribute RIZE and the upcoming
Lions Gate releases HARD CANDY and CATACOMBS in coming months.
Lions Gate is the premier independent producer and distributor of motion
picture, television, home entertainment, family entertainment and
video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library is one of the
largest in the entertainment industry. The Lions Gate brand name is
synonymous with original, daring, quality product in markets around the globe.
Redbus is one of the premier independent distributors in the UK. Founded
in 1998 by former JP Morgan and Banque Paribas investment banker Simon Franks
and Zygi Kamasa, Redbus has been profitable since its inception. Redbus has
established a track record of acquiring and distributing critically acclaimed
and commercially successful, profitable feature films. Redbus distributes
directly both theatrically and on video, and it has established strong
relationships with all major UK television buyers, including the BBC, Channel
4, ITV and BSkyB. Redbus has ranked among the top 10 fastest-growing
companies in the UK for the past two years, according to the SUNDAY TIMES FAST
Redbus' parent company is Redbus Group, a privately-owned UK-based media
group. Simon Franks is its founder and Chairman. Redbus Group was advised by
Allen & Company LLC in connection with the transaction.
For further information, contact:
Peter D. Wilkes
Lions Gate Entertainment
+44 (0) 207 153 1540
+44 (0) 7711 727 618
The matters discussed in this press release include forward-looking
statements. Such statements are subject to a number of risks and
uncertainties. When used in this press release, the words "will," "plan,"
"continue," "intends," "believe," "poised" and similar expressions are
intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results in the future
could differ materially and adversely from those described in the
forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including
risk factors set forth in Lion Gate's 8-K filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on June 29, 2005. The Company undertakes no obligation to
publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking
statements that may be made to reflect any future events or circumstances.
SOURCE Lions Gate Entertainment