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Producer Sphere Media to Buy Distributor Abacus for $18M

Producer Sphere Media to Buy Distributor Abacus for $18M

Producer Sphere Media to Buy Distributor Abacus for M

Sort Of producer Sphere Media is set to buy UK-based Abacus Media Rights for CAN$24.6 million (US$18 million) from Amcomri Entertainment.

The deal, expected to close in August, will see the Montreal-based TV producer get deeper into premium TV distribution as the British company is rebranded as Sphere Abacus Media Rights. Bruno Dubé, CEO of Sphere Media, in a statement said his company was looking for a distributor that mirrored the Canadian company in the quality and reputation of its TV slate.

“Now to be teaming up with Abacus Media Rights and its enviable range of partners, we look forward to exploring all the collaborations and creative enterprise possible to push the very boundaries of what we can achieve together,” he added.

The acquisition, done by Sphere Media in partnership with shareholder Bell Media, the Canadian TV giant, will see the sales and acquisitions teams at Abacus Media Rights remain based in the UK and led by managing director Jonathan Ford, who in turn will report to Sphere Media CEO Dubé.

The deal for Abacus Media Rights follows Sphere Media refocusing its distribution arm by ceasing international film sales from June 16. Besides the CBC and HBO series Sort Of, Sphere Media produces original English-language series like The Porter, which aired on BET stateside, and Transplant, the Canadian medical drama that aired on CTV and NBC.

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Sphere Media is also a major producer of French-language content for the Quebec and international markets. Canada’s third largest indie producer with an office in Toronto in recent years has looked to do more co-productions with American and European partners after buying Cardinal producer Sienna Films and BMG in 2020, while also enabling French-language producers to expand beyond Quebec.

“As we move to the next stage in our development, we are delighted to be joining the Sphere Media Group, where, once the deal is closed, we will operate as the international distribution arm alongside their standout production business,” Jonathan Ford said in a statement on Wednesday.

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