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AAC lawyers study Café bailout

The proposed deal between Café Productions and Alliance Atlantis Communications continues to be fine tuned. In mid-September AAC rescued Café from liquidation by offering to finance the U.K. indie's operating expenses. Now, the Canadian media conglomerate is working to establish the...
November 1, 2000

The proposed deal between Café Productions and Alliance Atlantis Communications continues to be fine tuned. In mid-September AAC rescued Café from liquidation by offering to finance the U.K. indie’s operating expenses. Now, the Canadian media conglomerate is working to establish the terms of its new relationship.

‘Our intention is to end up owning somewhere between 49 and 100 percent of Café,’ says Andy Thomson, AAC’s executive VP of television production.

AAC recently entered into a partnership agreement with Toronto’s Barna-Alper Productions and Associated Producers, with AAC taking a small percentage of the companies, gaining access to their back catalogs, and first right of refusal on upcoming product.

While both AP and Barna-Alper continue to operate as independent entities, Café will not. Explains Thomson, ‘Café is quite different because we’ll be owning a significant portion of [the company]

and we’ll probably be involved in the ongoing management of it, which is not the case with the other two. Clearly, we want to run Café in a way that it doesn’t get into the kind of trouble it got into before. We want to take some of the expertise that is in AAC and make sure it is made available to Café.’

Thomson states AAC is not interested in affecting the type of programming Café produces, only how it produces it. To this end, lawyers have been consulted to study Café’s ability to continue to work as an European prodco.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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