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Co-Owner Of The ‘CSI’ Franchise For Sale

By Deborah
December 23, 2006 - 12:33 AM

Alliance Atlantis Communications, the Toronto-based film distributor that co-owns the CSI franchise, has announced the company is for sale. Controlling shareholder Southill South is in talks with selected potential buyers. Southhill is owned by Alliance Atlantis executive chairman Michael MacMillan and Seaton McLean. Southill stressed that they may still decide not to sell.

In addition to co-producing CSI with CBS and holding the worldwide distribution rights outside the US, Alliance Atlantis owns 13 specialty television channels in Canada and holds a 51-percent interest in Motion Picture Distribution LP, which distributes movies in Canada and Spain.

Despite the money making success of the CSI franchise, it is believed that the 13 specialty channels are the most attractive assets owned by Alliance Atlantis. Specialty channels such as the Alliance Atlantis owned Showcase, HGTV and The Food Network are among the more profitable enterprises on television due to low production costs and ability to provide advertisers with niche markets.

Ownership rules for Canadian broadcasting assets will likely discourage foreign bids. However, there are a number of companies for whom the purchase of Alliance Atlantis would be a wise financial and strategic decision. This roster includes Canadian broadcasters CanWest Global Communications, Astral Media and Shaw Communications.

To read about this in greater detail, head over to Yahoo News and Globe Investor.

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