May 15-31, 2004 Edition GENERAL NEWS Thomson Expands UK
Film and Post Production
With Madri Film Acqusition
LOS ANGELES & PARIS/05/10/04Thomson (Euronext Paris:18453); (NYSE:TMS), the world leader in integrated solutions (technologies, equipment and services) for the entertainment and media industries, today announced two strategic acquisitions to expand its geographic reach and service offerings for the filmmaking community worldwide. Thomson plans to acquire Madrid Film SL, also known as Madrid Film Group, the highly respected and largest film and post production operation in Spain. In addition, Thomson is acquiring International Recording, a Rome-based company specializing in creating multiple foreign language versions for theatrical and broadcast content, as well as for video games.
With 150 employees and operations in Madrid and Barcelona, Madrid Film Group offers a broad range of photochemical and digital services, including front-end negative processing for feature filmmakers, black & white and color film processing (35mm and 16mm), and feature release printing for 35mm and super 16mm. The labs in Madrid and Barcelona have significant video capabilities, which are able to handle transfer of film to video and digital formats. The Madrid location also offers Digital Intermediates processing services, which complement Technicolor’s Los Angeles, New York, and Montreal-based capabilities in this emerging market. Technicolor is one of the world’s largest providers of Digital Intermediates services, having been involved in such titles as Pirates of the Caribbean, Seabiscuit, Kill Bill Volume 2, Thirteen, and Scooby Doo 2.
Highly touted as one of Italy’s best sound facilities, International Recording has 33 employees and specializes in creating multiple foreign language versions for theatrical and broadcast content as well as video games. IR is a well-established facility with 5 mixing stages, 6 automatic dialogue replacement (ADR) stages and full optical sound track negative and transfer services.
The acquisitions will further expand the geographic reach and service offerings available to the filmmaking community worldwide through Thomson’s film and post-production activity. Film and post-production falls within Thomson’s Digital Content Solutions Division, which provides a variety of end-to-end digital and analog services and media solutions to content owners and creators under the Technicolor brand. The acquisition of the 80-year-old Madrid Film Group represents the first major European expansion outside of Thomson’s existing operations in London and Rome, and expands its presence in the fast-growing Spanish film and post production market. Acquiring International Recording bolsters Thomson’s position in the market for foreign language versioning, which has exploded in recent years as motion picture studios, television networks and video game providers increase the number of foreign language versions of their content. Both acquisitions will be integrated into Technicolor’s growing sound services capabilities and long-standing lab and post production facilities in Europe following the closing the agreements, expected during the second quarter 2004.
Certain statements in this press release, including any discussion of management expectations for future periods, constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to changes in global economic and business conditions, or regulatory factors. More detailed information on the potential factors that could affect the financial results of Thomson is contained in Thomson’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Thomson (Euronext Paris:18453) (NYSE:TMS) is the leading provider of technology and service solutions for integrated entertainment and media companies. By capitalizing on and expanding its leadership positions at the intersection of entertainment, media and technology, Thomson provides end-to-end solutions to content creators, video network operators and manufacturers and retailers through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, THOMSON and RCA brands. For more information: www.thomson.net.
Technicolor Entertainment Services (TES), part of Thomson’s Digital Content Solutions division, is the number one processor of motion picture film worldwide and a leading provider of creative/post-production, cinema distribution and digital cinema services. With facilities worldwide, TES service lines include:
Technicolor Release Print Services processes and prints 16/35/65/70 mm formats, dailies, answer prints, intermediates, and trailers. Technicolor Creative Services provides production, post-production and post post-production services ranging from film and audio restoration and preservation, in both analog and digital formats, to DVD compression and authoring, VOD encoding, to episodic television and commercial advertising completion. Technicolor Cinema Distribution Services provides high-quality distribution and logistics management services for motion picture release prints and advertising collateral through state-of-the-art technologies and an efficient distribution pipeline. Technicolor Digital Cinema is the leading provider of a comprehensive suite of digital cinema services and solutions, which include compression, encryption, distribution, storage and scheduling/playback as well as in-theatre management systems, maintenance and support.
For more information: www.technicolor.com
Comcast and Time Warner
of Kansas City, Texas Cable Deals
NEW YORK & PHILADELPHIA/05/04/04Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) have completed the previously announced restructuring of their two cable joint ventures, Kansas City Cable Partners and Texas Cable Partners. The agreement to restructure the joint ventures was announced on December 1, 2003.
Prior to the restructuring, Texas Cable Partners served about 1.2 million basic cable subscribers in Houston and other south Texas communities, and Kansas City Cable Partners served about 300,000 basic cable subscribers in Kansas City, Missouri.
Under the restructuring, Time Warner Cable and Comcast:
Merged the Kansas City partnership into the Texas partnership, of which Time Warner Cable and Comcast own 50% each; Extended Time Warner Cable’s management of the systems for at least the next two years; Agreed to allow either party to trigger the split of the combined partnership after June 1, 2006; and Agreed to give the non-triggering party the right to choose and take full ownership of one of two pools of the combined partnership’s systemsone pool consisting of the Houston systems and the other consisting of the Kansas City and south Texas systemswith an arrangement to distribute the debt among the pools. The remaining pool of systems and any debt associated with that pool would be owned by the party that triggered the split. This split-up mechanism replaces an existing buy-sell provision under the prior partnership agreements.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation ( www.comcast.com) is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the provision of programming content. The Company is the largest cable company in the United States, serving more than 21 million cable subscribers and is the nation’s largest broadband Internet provider with more than 5 million customers. The Company’s content businesses include Comcast SportsNet, Comcast-Spectacor, E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network and G4. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
About Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable owns and manages cable systems serving 10.9 million subscribers in 27 states, which include some of the most technologically advanced, best-clustered cable systems in the country with more than 75 percent of the Company’s customers in systems of 300,000 subscribers or more. Utilizing a fully upgraded advanced cable network and a steadfast commitment to providing consumers with choice, value and world-class customer service, Time Warner Cable is an industry leader in delivering advanced products and services such as video on demand, high definition television, high-speed data, wireless home networking and digital video recorders. Time Warner Cable is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.
About Time Warner Inc.
Time Warner Inc. is a leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks and publishing.
Gearing Up in UK
LONDON/05/04/04NBN Plymbridge will soon offer sales representation to its distribution clients in the UK. U.S. distributor NBN bought the UK-based Plymbridge out of bankruptcy, and has eliminated about 95 percent of its old debts. The company will provide sales representation for UK publishers similar to services offered in the U.S.
A rep force will be developed, and NBN will also offer publishers support services such as cover design, packaging and marketing.
Plymbridge, located in Plymouth, has a warehoused inventory of 30,000 titles. The company will hire a new UK-based marketing director.