Country Focus: UK
Till seals Icon deal
by Naman Ramachandran
- After more than a year of negotiations, a process that began in September 2008, former UK Film Council Chairman and industry veteran Stewart Till has finalised the deal to acquire Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey’s Icon Group’s UK operations.
Till’s company, Stadium Entertainment, backed by American industrialist Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, will now have control over sales company Icon Entertainment International and the Majestic Films & Television library. The Icon brand name will be retained with Till set to assume charge of Icon UK as CEO.
Gibson and Davey will continue running Los Angeles-based Icon Productions, with whom Icon UK will have a three-year first look deal. The Icon Group will hold on to their Australian assets, however Icon UK and Icon Australia will continue their current practice of acquiring territory distribution rights jointly.
Till said in a statement: “This acquisition is a fantastic first step in our plans to build an international distribution network that will be operational in all the key major territories around the world, including Eastern Europe and Asia.”
Stewart Till was formerly Chairman and CEO of United International Pictures. From 2000-02 he was President and CEO of Signpost Films. Previously, at Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Stewart was responsible for all film acquisitions and oversaw international film, video and television marketing and distribution. In June 2000 he was awarded the CBE for services to the UK film industry.