FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Entertainment One Recasts Itself as E1 Entertainment
New Look and Organisational Structure Reflect Company's Growing Global Ambitions
TORONTO and LONDON, January 22, 2009 - Entertainment One Ltd. (AIM: ETO), having successfully completed a series of strategic acquisitions which have quickly vaulted it up the list of the world's leading entertainment companies, today unveiled a new name, visual identity and structure designed to unite the company's worldwide operations under one global banner.
The company will now operate as E1 Entertainment, and has adopted a new logo to signify its metamorphosis into a major independent entertainment content owner and distributor with operations in Canada, the United States, the UK, Holland, and Belgium. In addition, E1 has integrated all of its operations into four main units: E1 Television, E1 Films, E1 Music and E1 Distribution. These businesses collectively represent E1's international operations in film distribution, television and music production/distribution including its Kids Division as well as its Licensing and Distribution divisions.
The company also announced it will launch a new corporate website shortly at www.e1entertainment.com.
"This re-branding is an important milestone for our company," said Darren Throop, E1's chief executive officer. "E1's new name, logo and corporate structure are important elements to defining E1's evolving identity, and will help inspire our next phase of growth."
"Over the past two years we have successfully diversified into film and television, while at the same time expanding our capabilities, extending our geographic reach and creating one of the most rousing stories in the entertainment business. Now we're focused on executing against our strategy to dramatically expand our content ownership and extend our global distribution network."
In addition to Throop, E1's senior leadership team includes Chief Financial Officer Giles Willits and Filmed Entertainment President Patrice Theroux, both of whom have worked closely with Throop as he transformed the company through a series of key acquisitions, including:
- Contender Entertainment Group, one of the largest distributors of film and television content in the UK;
- Seville Entertainment Inc., a leading Canadian film distribution and entertainment rights owner;
- RCV Entertainment BV, the leading independent film distributor operating in the Netherlands and Belgium;
- Barna-Alper, a leading producer of Canadian television programs and key supplier to Canadian broadcasters;
- Blueprint Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based television production company that has become a key supplier to US cable networks;
- Oasis Pictures, a Canadian television international sales and distribution company that has licensed product to over 500 broadcasters in 150 countries, and
- Maximum Films, a Canadian and International film distribution company with distribution agreements with Lakeshore, IFC and Cinetic.
The Four Pillars
All these acquired companies have now been successfully integrated into E1's existing operations, which are organized around the company's four primary revenue drivers: Television, Film, Music and Distribution.
- Barna-Alper, Blueprint Entertainment and Oasis International have been folded into E1 Television. Former Blueprint chief John Morayniss becomes the CEO of the newly integrated division, while Barna-Alper founder Laszlo Barna will take on the role of president. Oasis founder Peter Emerson will continue to lead E1's global television distribution as president, E1 Television International.
- Kids producer and distributor, Rubber Duck, headed by Laura Clunie based in London UK, and Blueprint Kids, headed by Frank Saperstein based in Los Angeles, will now be known as E1 Kids.
- Canadian distributors Seville Pictures and Maximum Films have combined to form E1 Entertainment Canada under the continued leadership of Co-Presidents David Reckziegel and Bryan Gliserman. Les Films Seville, E1 Entertainment Canada's Montreal-based subsidiary, will now be known as Les Films Seville, Une filiale de E1 Entertainment.
- UK distributor Contender Entertainment Group will operate as E1 Entertainment UK under the continued leadership of Managing Director Richard Bridgwood, while RCV Entertainment becomes E1 Entertainment Benelux under the direction of long-time Co-Managing Directors Jan Kouwenhoven and Joke Wartenbergh.
- Meanwhile, Seville International and Maximum International have also been combined to form E1 Films International, led by Charlotte Mickie.
- Lastly, Koch Entertainment founder Michael Koch and long-time Koch executive Michael Rosenberg will continue to lead E1's U.S. film distribution under the banner of E1 Entertainment U.S., the name chosen to replace Koch Vision.
- Michael Koch becomes CEO, E1 Music, with responsibility for E1 Records and E1 Music Publishing, which replace, respectively, Koch Records and Koch Music Publishing. Bob Frank remains president of both U.S. music subsidiaries.
- Koch Canada becomes E1 Music Canada, headed by Dominique Zgarka, who is president of music and special products.
- Entertainment One Recasts Itself as E1 Entertainment/3
- E1's Canadian wholesale unit will change its name to E1 Entertainment Distribution Canada under the continued leadership of Terry Stevens. The two other units reporting to Stevens, retail chain CD Plus and Videoglobe 1, will continue to operate under their current names.
- And Koch Distribution becomes E1 Entertainment Distribution U.S., also under the leadership of Michael Koch and Michael Rosenberg.
All subsidiary name and logo changes are expected to be implemented over the next 60 to 90 days.
In the coming months, the company will continue to execute against its core strategy while also seeking to maximize new revenue streams from high growth areas including merchandising and licensing and digital.
About E1 Entertainment
E1 Entertainment (AIM: ETO) is a leading independent entertainment content owner that acquires film, television and music rights and exploits these rights in all media in more than 190 countries.
The company currently operates in Canada, the U.S., the UK, Holland and Belgium through its four primary businesses units: E1 Television, E1 Films, E1 Music and E1 Distribution. These businesses collectively represent E1's extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production/distribution, Kids content, Licensing and Distribution.
E1's content library includes more than 3,700 feature films, 2,700 hours of original television programming and 15,000 music tracks.