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Phase 4 Acquires ESI Distribution, Inks Canada Deal With Criterion

28 Jan, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Phase 4 Films Jan. 28 announced it has acquired ESI Distribution, in addition to signing a Canadian distribution agreement with The Criterion Collection. Combined with last month’s Canadian distribution agreement with Shout! Factory, Phase 4 continues to up its stock as a top content distributor.

Financial terms of the ESI transaction were not disclosed. ESI is based in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Criterion and Shout! enhance our ability to offer consumers a broad selection of high-quality content, while ESI brings a perfect blend of content and vendor relationships, particularly with Costco in the U.S.,” CEO Berry Meyerowitz said in a statement.

Phase 4 is releasing The Criterion Collection’s The Great Beauty on VOD Feb. 25.  The film recently won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign-Language Film and is nominated for an Academy Award in the same category.

“We needed a partner that could maximize our opportunities in Canada while simultaneously servicing some of our key U.S. accounts,” said Jonathan Turell, CEO of The Criterion Collection. “Our alliance with Phase 4 is an important next step that brings The Criterion Collection’s library of classic and contemporary films into even more households in North America.”

Criterion recently signed a U.S. distribution deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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