Canada's Entertainment One receives green light to acquire Alliance Films


Toronto-based independent film producer and distributor Entertainment One's proposed $225-million takeover of Alliance Films has been approved by regulators.

The Canadian Competition Bureau issued a statement on January 3 that the merger will not reduce competition in Canada's independent distribution sector.

The bureau noted that the merger may result in fewer Canadian films being distributed than the total currently distributed by the Toronto-based Entertainment One, or eOne, and Montreal-based Alliance as separate companies. However, it also noted that "there are certain smaller Canadian distributors who see the proposed acquisition as an opportunity to expand and distribute more films."

The bureau, after conducting over 50 film industry interviews, concluded that any anti-competitive effects would be "very small, particularly relative to the efficiencies that are likely to result from the proposed acquisition".

Both eOne and Alliance (who entered into an agreement on September 7, 2012, that eOne would purchase all of Alliance's outstanding shares) received a no-action letter from the bureau on January 3, permitting the merger to proceed.

Alliance's film roster includes the sci-fi film LooperThe King's Speech, and Canadian films such as Gunless and Defendor while eOne's library includes the Twilight franchise and Canadian films such as Midnight's Children.

eOne began as a Canadian music retailed in Ontario in 1973, and expanded to video in 1980. The company expanded internationally to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the U.K.

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