Platinum Equity Expands Entertainment Portfolio With Acquisition of Deluxe Entertainment’s Distribution Business
Firm recruits former CEO Cyril Drabinsky to return and lead business at a pivotal time for an industry disrupted by coronavirus crisis
Platinum Equity announced the acquisition of Deluxe Entertainment Services Inc.’s distribution business (“Deluxe”). Financial terms were not disclosed. Deluxe Entertainment’s creative businesses are not included in the acquisition.
Former Deluxe CEO Cyril Drabinsky, who left the company in 2016 to found CineVizion, is returning to lead the business as CEO under Platinum Equity’s ownership. As part of the transition, CineVizion’s assets will be integrated into Deluxe.
“The entertainment industry, like many others, has been seriously disrupted by the coronavirus crisis,” said Tom Gores, chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity. “It will take both experience and tenacity to make it through to the other side, but we are confident that good companies with strong fundamentals and capable leadership will not only survive this crisis, but thrive.”
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“Deluxe has been a cornerstone of the entertainment industry for more than 100 years,” Mr. Gores said. “The company drove the evolution of digital cinema distribution and has continued to reinvent itself in partnership with content creators around the world. At this pivotal time for the industry, Cyril’s leadership, combined with Platinum’s financial resources and operational expertise, will help the company move forward stronger than ever. This is the first of several things to come in this space.”
Mr. Drabinsky was an executive at Deluxe for nearly 20 years and led the company’s transformation from an analog film processing business into a leading digital post-production technology and distribution service provider.
“Platinum is an excellent home for Deluxe and this investment represents a strong commitment to our history and to the entertainment industry at a critical time in our business,” said Mr. Drabinsky. “With Deluxe as part of the Platinum family, the company will have the support it needs to move into ever more innovative ways to serve the creative community. I am honored that Tom Gores and his team have entrusted me to lead the company that has been such a huge part of my career.”
Former Deluxe executive Mike Gunter is joining Drabinsky’s leadership team as Chief Financial Officer. Warren Stein, who served as Chief Operating Officer of Deluxe until 2016, is also returning as COO. Former Deluxe President of Post Production William Sherak advised Platinum Equity on the acquisition and will remain in an advisory role with the company going foward.
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Founded as a film processing lab in 1915 as part of the Fox Film Corporation, today Deluxe provides a full suite of solutions to the world’s leading content production studios and distributors. The company has approximately 3,400 employees globally with key hubs in Los Angeles, Bangalore, London, and Sydney.
Deluxe comprises four segments: Localization (subtitling and dubbing), Digital Cinema (mastering, key generation and distribution to theaters), Home Entertainment (compression, encoding and authorizing) and Fulfillment (encryption, transcoding and distribution of movies and tv content).
The Deluxe and CineVizion deals represent the fourth and fifth buy-side transactions Platinum Equity’s Small Cap team has completed in the last four months. Earlier today Platinum Equity announced the acquisition of L&R Distributors. In June, Platinum Equity announced the acquisiton of Bond Manufacturing, an add-on to Orbit Irrigation. In April, the firm announced the acquistion of Italian winemaker Farnese Vini.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP provided legal counsel to Platinum Equity on the acquisitions of Deluxe and CineVizion. Alston & Bird LLP provided legal counsel to Platinum Equity on the financing of the transactions.
Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial advisor to Deluxe Entertainment Services Inc. and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP acted as its legal counsel. Sklar Kirsh provided legal counsel to CineVizion.
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