Entertainment One set to take over Alliance

ENTERTAINMENT ONE yesterday announced it had won shareholder approval for its C$225m (£142m) takeover of movie distributor Alliance Films, and said it had seen an improvement in business in the first half of the financial year.

London-listed Entertainment One, which distributes films and television series in the UK, US, Canada and several other countries, said it had received near-unanimous support for the takeover. The purchase of Alliance will increase the size of the firm by around 40 per cent and hand it rights to a collection including the Twilight saga and the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

The company, which recently signed a UK distribution deal with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios, said it had released more than 85 films in the six months to October, compared with 74 in the same period last year, and over 65 hours of television programming compared with 36.5 last year.

Entertainment One said it expects revenues to be up in the period, although profits will be down due to the timing of film releases.

Jane Anscombe of Edison Investment Research said the Alliance Films purchase was a “transformational deal” that was “highly complementary”.

The takeover, which was funded by a £110m placing of shares, is expected to be completed early in 2013. Entertainment One’s stock price fell yesterday due to the dilutive effect of the new shares.

ADVISERS
CENKOS SECURITIES

CENKOS Securities was Entertainment One’s broker and joint bookrunner, helping to raise £110m for the deal, with the firm’s Growth Companies division leading the operation.

Having founded the Growth Companies team at Cenkos in 2006, Jeremy Warner Allen, Julian Morse, Russell Kerr, Christian Hobart, Andy Roberts and Alex Aylen have made Cenkos one of the leading fundraisers for growth companies, with an enviable track record and a client list of well over 100 companies. As well as the bookrunning for the Alliance deal, other recent fundraisings include Incadea (£13.6m), Avanti (£75m), Quindell (£32m) and Brady (£18m).

Andy Roberts said: “No individual broker can execute alone in this market and it is our collective strength as a fully integrated team, incorporating corporate finance and research that sets us apart from the competition.”

JPMorgan and Credit Suisse were financial advisers to Entertainment One, while JPMorgan Cazenove also helped raise funds for the firm.