Big Deals: Entertainment One Acquires Alliance Films

Actor Bruce Willis listens during the news conference for the film “Looper” – one of Alliance’s films – at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese

With dealmaking such a huge part of the Toronto International Film Festival, the recent announcement that Entertainment One is set to acquire Alliance Films has been generating buzz.

“The Canadian film industry will never be quite the same,” wrote Martin Knelman of the Toronto Star, while trade publication Screen International has insiders opining on its potential effects. Amir Malin, founder of media investment firm Qualia Capital, for one, believes:

In the short run this will present difficulties for a great many independent features striving for distribution in the territory. In the long run it may create a compelling opportunity for another entity to enter the Canadian landscape.

The deal, which sees eOne buying Alliance from affiliates of GS Capital Partners and Investissement Québec for approximately $225 million, requires approval from the Competition Bureau to go forward.  The transaction will create the largest  independent film distributor in Canada and the UK.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP represented eOne with a team composed of Mark Trachuk, Dave Vernon and Rosalind Hunter (Corporate) with Peter Glossop and Shuli Rodal (Regulatory). Mayer Brown LLP represented eOne in the US and UK with a team composed of Robert Hamill, Rebecca Bothamley and Frances Hull.

Torys LLP represented Alliance with a team composed of David Chaikof, Glen Johnson and Paul Budavitch (Corporate) with Omar Wakil (Regulatory).

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