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27/11/2008

Zodiak Entertainment Unveiled As The New Force In The Production And Distribution Of Global Content

At a briefing in London this week, Lorenzo Pellicioli, CEO of De Agostini Group and CEO of Zodiak Entertainment, unveiled details of the brand new company set to rival all existing international content groups.
Zodiak Entertainment will spearhead De Agostini's move into the global television content market.
The creation of Zodiak Entertainment follows De Agostini's recent raft of acquisitions to ramp up its media and communications division with some of the major and most experienced players in international television content, including Magnolia Productions, Marathon Group and Zodiak Television Group.
At its launch, Zodiak Entertainment already has an enviable number of advantages over its competitors: a strong international footprint with a direct presence in more than twenty territories, a full range of scripted and unscripted programming, a group of award-winning, international creative teams and a highly successful distribution company. In terms of results, at the end of 2008 Zodiak Entertainment has forecast over 400 €MN as revenue and more than 70 €MN in terms of EBITDA.
The new company, headquartered in Paris, is made up of many of the most internationally renowned and respected brands in television and content production in the world today, including 5th Element, Adventure Line Productions, Broadcasters, Bullseye, Diverse Production, Dixi Media, Jarowskij, Kanakna, KM Productions. Lucky Day, Magnolia, Marathon, Mastiff, Mastiff Media, Neo Network, Palm Plus, Quadrio, Red House, Social Club Productions, SOL, TeleAlliance Media Group, Télé Images, Yellow Bird, YS Films.
All of these award-winning and highly successful companies are creators of diverse and popular shows from animation to documentary and drama to video clips.
They are also well known for their expertise and experience in producing outstanding ratings winning local versions of third party entertainment formats on behalf of international broadcasters. Zodiak Entertainment will continue to build on these longstanding and beneficial relationships with its broadcast partners.
Lorenzo Pellicioli also announced names of the members of the Zodiak Entertainment Strategic Committee who will support him in strategy development and operational management.
The highly regarded, dynamic and exceptionally experienced executives who will take the new new company forward are Laurent Boissel, Chief Financial Officer; Pascal Breton Senior Vice President, Fiction; Vincent Chalvon-Demersay, Senior Vice President, Animation; Giorgio Gori, Senior Vice President, Light Entertainment and Patrick Svensk, Senior Vice President Mergers and Acquisitions/Business Development.
Paolo Ceretti, General Manager of De Agostini Group, will also join the committee.
Lorenzo Pellicioli commented: "The creation of Zodiak Entertainment confirms our commitment to create a worldwide leading brand, producing creative entertainment content for television and new media.
"Consolidating and building on the strong relationships with broadcasters, which we have inherited from these excellent businesses, gives us a huge advantage in a very competitive marketplace.
"We are also investing in new and exciting talent to create even better, dynamic and popular programming in the areas of both scripted and non-scripted. We also intend to significantly extend our reach in developing programming for new platforms, as well as growing our consumer products, licensing and publishing units into a substantial and lucrative global business utilising the advantages and synergies from collaboration between Zodiak Entertainment and De Agostini's other fields of activity, particularly publishing (De Agostini Publisher) and the gaming sector (Lottomatica/Gtech)."
He added: "Our main focus going forward will be to combine organic growth with further acquisitions and strengthen our position both in the UK and US, as well as in high growth emerging markets.
"This strategy will support our ambition to become one of the key international players in the TV content market in the next three years by achieving our revenue target of 800-1000 €MN and EBITDA of 130 - 150 €MN and being ready to list the company on a stock exchange."
(KMcA)
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