News in Brief

Millimages picks up a majority stake in Bac Majestic
February 1, 2004

Millimages picks up a majority stake in Bac Majestic

Paris-based animation studio Millimages will soon have a film distribution infrastructure to get its features (including spring release DuckUgly) into cinemas. The company has signed a deal to buy a controlling interest in Paris-based feature distributor Bac Majestic. Bac must renegotiate its debt to French producer/distributor Studio Canal before receiving a capital injection of US$3.1 million from Filen Holdings, owned by the family of Millimages President Roch Lener. Filen will then own between 51% and 58% of Bac, and Millimages will eventually take over that share. In preparation for the takeover, the animation studio plans to raise US$6.2 million by issuing equity warrants to its shareholders. A former partner of Miramax, Bac owns French rights to a library of more than 200 films, including Spy Kids and Life is Beautiful.

IDT partners with Christian net to build its family library

Looking to further diversify its business activities, growing media concern IDT Entertainment has entered into a joint-venture with Christian Broadcasting Network subsidiary NorthStar Entertainment to develop, produce and distribute family-friendly TV series and DTV titles. The first project to come out of the partnership will be a 44-minute DVD called Hip Hop and Hamilton that’s slated to hit shelves in September 2004. The release is comprised of four 11-minute segments that follow the adventures of a frog and hamster as they learn about the world around them. CTN will also contribute films, videos and series such as The 700 Club, an interview show hosted by Pat Robertson, from its library. The deal follows a string of 2003 acquisitions for IDT, which bought Anchor Bay Entertainment (November) and picked up a controlling interest in Canadian animation house Mainframe Entertainment (December) and animation studio Film Roman (May).

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