Reliance Big Entertainment acquires majority stake in sales company IM Global

MUMBAI: Anil Ambani’s Reliance Big Entertainment has acquired an undisclosed majority shareholding in the Los Angeles and London based international film sales company IM Global.

It may be recalled that in February 2010, the two companies formed a sales alliance that saw IM Global handle Reliance’s Hindi films internationally. As was earlier reported by Businessofcinema.com, post this move, Reliance’s in-house international distribution team comprising Jawahar Sharma and Gayathiri Batra put in their papers.

The sales alliance has now progressed to Reliance acquiring a majority stake in IM Global.

IM Global was founded by Stuart Ford in March 2007. This extended relationship between the two companies ensures an increased capability for independent film financing by IM Global, an expansion into sales and financing for top tier non-English language cinema as well as selective rights acquisitions for India and other Asian markets.

Ford’s holding company Ancramdale will retain a significant equity position in the business, and he will continue as CEO of the company under a multi-year deal.

Ford said, "After a phenomenal first three years, the company is ready to move onto the next stage of its strategic growth. I simply could not wish for a more dynamic partner to help nurture that progression. We’re also looking forward to helping Reliance extend its presence in Hollywood and the worldwide film community."

IM Global was founded in March 2007 by former Miramax International head Ford. The company established itself as a sales agent in the international community handling a variety of mainstream commercial, arthouse and genre fare. Movies like Paranormal Activity by Oren Peli and Tom Ford’s critically acclaimed A Single Man were handled by IM Global.

IM Global currently has in post production Peli’s follow up Area 51, Will Ferrell starrer Everything Must Go, The Astral from SAW director James Wan, The Company Men with Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones and John Cusack thriller The Factory. Movies that are in pre-production are Halle Berry starrer Dark Tide, Kevin Costner starring and directing vehicle A Little War Of Our Own, Protection starring Dwayne Johnson and the Madonna directed We.

The IM Global deal is another major acquisition by Reliance in Hollywood after it partnered with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider on the formation of DreamWorks Studios and its various film development deals with the likes of Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Chris Columbus, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Jay Roach, Brett Ratner, Julia Roberts, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.

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