Canada’s Entertainment One has reached an agreement to acquire rival distributor Alliance Films for C$225m (US$229.4m).
The two firms have been locked in talks for the past few months, after eOne confirmed in May it had made a bid for Alliance, owner of assets including Maple Pictures.
The pair has now agreed terms. eOne will pay C$174.2m in cash, plus more to clear Alliance debt. The Peppa Pig co-owner will issue new shares worth £110m (US$175.6m) to help fund the move.
eOne, which sells Twilight vampire film series, plus TV shows The Walking Dead, Rookie Blue and The Firm, said the acquisition would establish it as the largest independent film distributor in each of the Canadian and UK markets. The merged business will also have operations in the Benelux, Australia, the US and Spain.
Alliance’s film library includes titles such as Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Lord of the Rings, The King’s Speech and The Hunger Games.
Together, the firms will have a combined library of more than 35,000 film and television titles.
“The combination of Entertainment One and Alliance creates a market leading film distribution business which alongside our television and family divisions will deliver a strong strategic platform for long term growth,” said eOne group CEO Darren Throop.
“As a result of the acquisition, Entertainment One will be a more competitive business in each of the geographic markets that we serve, allowing us to act as a more valuable partner for content producers and expanding the quality and depth of the content that we offer to our customers.”
eOne released 152 films theatrically over the year including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
The company is presenting 18 premium films, as well as titles being sold by the international sales team, at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.
Alliance, which has output deals in Canada with The Weinstein Company, Focus Features and Relativity, is at the same event. Festival opener Looper is among its catalogue, along with the likes of Dredd and Anna Karenina.
eOne signalled its intent to move into acquisitions back in February after abandoning plans for its own possible sale.