Alliance Films acquisition of Maple Pictures closes

Alliance topper Victor Loewy says staffing cuts will be minimal: "There will be a surprisingly high number of people that we're keeping."

Alliance Films has completed a $38.5 million deal to acquire indie distributor Maple Pictures from Lionsgate Entertainment.

“I’m very happy that we’ve done the deal,” Alliance Films topper Victory Loewy said Wednesday.

Loewy said the deal has two key components: a valuable library that includes Canadian titles, and an output deal with Vancouver-based Lionsgate that will see Alliance Films follow Maple in releasing the mini-major’s product in Canada.

“[Lionsgate] releases very commercial films; they complement the films that we release now. And if you look around, there’s very few indie companies operating in the U.S. and Lionsgate is the biggest one,” Loewy told Playback Daily.

The deal by Alliance Films to acquire Lionsgate’s 100% stake in Maple was first unveiled in June.

On an analyst call Wednesday, Lionsgate CFO James Keegan said his company will use $31 million in net operating losses carried forward from prior years to avoid paying tax on the Maple Pictures transaction.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer on the same call reiterated that the sale of Maple was part of a continuing bid by the Vancouver-based studio to monetize non-core assets.

Loewy said most Maple employees will remain Alliance Films, especially on the home video distribution side.

“There will be a surprisingly high number of people that we’re keeping,” he added.

Photo: Andy Roberts, Flickr Creative Commons