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.