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First Look Deal Would Expand Library

14 Jun, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

First Look Media is getting a hard look from ContentFilm, which is considering buying First Look in an equity deal valued at an estimated $14.5 million.

If the deal goes through, about 80 percent to 90 percent of the acquisition cost is expected to be paid in common shares of ContentFilm, with the balance in cash.

“It's not a done deal. This is something we have been working on for months. It's going to take at least two more months,” said Bill Bromiley, president of First Look.

The deal, if it goes through, would expand First Look's library and give the company access to upcoming ContentFilm titles for the home video marketplace.

“It would only make us larger,” Bromiley said. “It might help get into the few retailers that don't carry [First Look titles], and it would probably cause the retailers we do have to take a second look at products they have passed on.”

Producer Ed Pressman, one of the principals of ContentFilm, has a long list of production credits stretching back to the 1970s. He has producer or executive producer credits on such titles as Badlands, Phantom of the Paradise, Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, True Stories, Wall Street, Hoffa, The Crow and more recent films, including Party Monster and The Cooler. Although many of his films are already licensed to other companies for home video distribution, a deal could mean a stream of new titles for First Look going forward. The deal would also give ContentFilm its own label for home entertainment.

“The idea is, we would combine libraries as well as benefit from the ‘A'-list pictures that he has,” Bromiley said. “With that kind of firepower behind us, it makes us grow.”

Since ContentFilm is new to distributing home video, headquarters would likely remain in the Los Angeles area, but First Look might look to extend its reach via ContentFilm's offices in New York and the United Kingdom.

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