The Hollywood reporter writes, “Lions Gate Entertainment announced the completion of its merger with Artisan Entertainment on Monday, a month and a half after the two independent companies reached an agreement.” I had the official press-release emailed to me, so why not read everything about this amazing merger!
LIONS GATE ENTERTAINMENT COMPLETES MERGER WITH ARTISAN ENTERTAINMENT
Deal Combines Two Major Independents Into “Power Indie”
VANCOUVER, BC, and SANTA MONICA, CA, December 15, 2003 – Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (AMEX and TSX: LGF), a leading motion picture and television production and distribution company, today announced that it has concluded its merger with Artisan Entertainment, the leading privately-held motion picture, family and home entertainment company. “This transaction creates a powerful and unique company that combines the library assets, diversified business portfolio, product pipeline and home entertainment resources of a major with the agility,entrepreneurial culture and overhead of an indie,” said Lions Gate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. “The combined entity is like no other company in the independent marketplace, and this will translate into tremendous opportunity going forward.”
Artisan CEO Amir Malin announced that, with the conclusion of the merger transaction, he has opted to terminate his agreement with the company. Artisan is renowned for a diverse spectrum of critically-acclaimed independent theatrical successes, including the blockbuster hit THE BLAIR
WITCH PROJECT, which redefined motion picture marketing, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, PI and NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VAN WILDER. Artisan is also known for building the broadest and deepest library in the indie world with more than 6,000 titles of Academy Award-winning classics, action
adventure blockbusters, cult classics and outrageous comedies, its powerful home entertainment business and its leading presence in family entertainment
through its award-winning Family Home Entertainment (FHE) division. FHE features product from top family brands such as Mattel, Inc. (BARBIE, HOT WHEELS), Fisher-Price (RESCUE HEROES), Scholastic Entertainment (CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG), American Greetings (CARE BEARS), Nelvana (MISS SPIDER), TLC (TRADING SPACES), Animal Planet (CROCODILE HUNTER), Big Idea! (JONAH: A VEGGIE TALES MOVIE) and Hallmark Home Entertainment. Fresh off Lions Gate Films’ horror thriller CABIN FEVER, Rob Zombie’s cult
classic HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and the heist caper CONFIDENCE, the combined company enters the holiday season with three major award contenders: GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, starring Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth and Tom Wilkinson, the Sundance acquisition THE COOLER, starring William H. Macy, Maria Bello and Alec Baldwin, and SHATTERED GLASS, starring Hayden Christensen, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Rosario Dawson and Hank Azaria. Moving into calendar 2004, the expanded company has an A-list star-driven slate including the contemporary cloning thriller GODSEND, starring two-time Academy Award winner Robert DeNiro, Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, DIRTY DANCING: HAVANA NIGHTS (in conjunction with Miramax Films), which re-imagines the 1987 worldwide blockbuster and stars sensational newcomers Diego Luna (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN) and Romola Garai, the dark comedy EULOGY,starring Emmy Award-winner Ray Romano (EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND), the futuristic THE FINAL CUT, starring Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel, the Cannes Film Festival sensation DOGVILLE, starring Nicole Kidman, the just-completed urban comedy THE COOKOUT, with Queen Latifah and a strong ensemble cast, the highly-anticipated THE PUNISHER, inspired by the cult favorite Marvel superhero, with an all-star cast led by Thomas Jane, John Travolta and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, and the romantic period drama STAGE BEAUTY, starring Billy Crudup, Claire Danes and Rupert Everett.
The merged entity also features a vibrant and growing television business, including Lions Gate Television’s two prime time cable network series THE DEAD ZONE for USA Networks and 1-800-MISSING for The Lifetime Network, one of the most powerful home entertainment operations in indie history and Lions Gate’s state-of-the-art studio facilities in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
The expanded company will have a prestigious and prolific library of more than 8,000 titles, the largest in the independent marketplace, including
such standout titles as TERMINATOR 2, MONSTER’S BALL, DIRTY DANCING, GODS & MONSTERS, BASIC INSTINCT, TOTAL RECALL, ON GOLDEN POND, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE RED VIOLIN, AFFLICTION, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, AMERICAN PSYCHO, RESERVOIR DOGS, SHADOW OF A VAMPIRE, AMORES PERROS, “O,” and NATIONAL LAMPOON’s VAN WILDER.
The investment bank JP Morgan provided merger and acquisition advisory services to Lions Gate on the transaction and Allen & Company and Harris Williams & Company advised Artisan. The law firms of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and Heenan Blaikie LLP advised Lions Gate on the deal and the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis counseled Artisan. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning Lions Gate’s expected operational performance. Actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, Lions Gate’s ability to successfully integrate Artisan’s operations and employees; general economic conditions; and the other risk factors set forth in Lions Gate’s public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lions Gate undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect any future events or circumstances.