Oct 07, 2014
Move comes as part of a larger, ongoing media build-out strategy for Demarest and Kilburn; VeteranCanadian Media Exec Brad Pelman takes CEO Post

Toronto, Canada – October6, 2014 – The Fremantle Corporation (and Kaleidoscope Entertainment Inc. Canada), international and Canadian distributors of third party independent content since 1952, today announced that Pelman, Kilburn Media, and Demarest Films have made an equity investment in the company. Former Maple Pictures and Alliance Films executive Brad Pelman has become CEO.

The Fremantle Corporation manages over 1000 television and film programs representing more than 5000 hours of content, including Agnes Nixon’siconic All My Children daytime drama,the annual Tony Awards, and the family series Black Beauty. Factual and lifestyle shows, feature films, drama and documentary series make up the majority of the catalogue.

Randy Zalken will continue as President and the Fremantle Corporation’s existing team will pursue its business plan with a focus on new content partners, expanding the distribution of the current library to new platforms and broadcasting clients, and growing The Fremantle Corporation as a formidable content distributor and conduit to financing opportunities for its producer partners.

“I am excited by the continuity and new growth opportunities that this equity investment provides. With the introduction of Brad Pelman to the management team as CEO,The Fremantle Corporation’s potential will be realized,” said Zalken.

With this investment, Demarest Films, co-founded by Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson, and Kilburn Media, founded by Mark Manuel, which he runs with Ted O’Neal, continue expanding their diversified media investment portfolio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Demarest and Kilburn expect to fund further content development as part of the deal. Manuel and Pelman also worked together at Lionsgate Entertainment, so there is a long-standing familiarity between the two executives.

“This transaction adds yet one more high-quality business to our growing platform of entertainment companies and ventures. It fits very well into our strategic plan for cost-effective expansion, allowing us to deploy more of our investment capital in building growth through operations,” said Englebardt and Manuel. “We have all the confidence in the world that this venture will prove highly successful for all parties involved,” added Johnson and O’Neal.

Pelman remarked, “Zalken, Kilburn, and Demarest have entrusted me to lead The Fremantle Corporation. I am excited to join a vibrant distribution company with so much opportunity in its future.  Zalken and his team have built a strong foundation and with their commitment and focus, we will become one of the leading independent distribution companies in the world.”

Norm Bishop of Bishop & McKenzie LLP and Edith Myers of CEI Management represented Pelman, Kilburn, and Demarest in the transaction.  Steven Newman, QC and Marc Hirshberg, President, Evra Media Solutions, represented Zalken.

About The Fremantle Corporation:
Since 1952 The Fremantle Corporation has been a respected distributor and producer of high quality and high-profile television programming for all markets and media worldwide.  From its head office in Toronto, The Fremantle Corporation produces, acquires and distributes a full range of series, specials, movies and specialty programming that has become a staple for leading broadcast and digital networks throughout the world.

About Brad Pelman:
Brad Pelman is a content distribution expert, with 23 years of experience.  Pelman co-Founded and served as co-President of Maple Pictures until 2011 when the company was sold to Alliance Films.  Following a successful transition of duties he launched Pelman Corp. Consulting and has been involved in numerous start-up digital and traditional content initiatives.  He serves on the board of directors of the National Screen Institute of Winnipeg MB, advisory services include Cinecoup Media Inc, Cue Digital Media, Zagga Entertainment Inc., and Vortex Words and Pictures.

About Demarest Films:
Funded with private capital, Demarest produces and finances a wide range of film and television projects and makes structured investments in both early-stage and established media companies.  Recent Demarest projects include Anton Corbijn’s adaptation of the John le Carré novel A MOST WANTED MAN, Kevin Smith’s audacious creature-horror TUSK, Max Nichols’s naughty romantic comedy TWO NIGHT STAND, and Neil Jordan’s vampire thriller BYZANTIUM.  Partners William D. Johnson, Sam Englebardt, and Michael Lambert founded Demarest in 2011. 

About Kilburn Media:
Kilburn Media is a rapidly growing, diversified media and entertainment company.  It is run by CEO Mark Manuel,and Ted O'Neal. Recent Kilburn Media projects include Jon Favreau’sCHEF, James Ponsoldt’s THE END OF THE TOUR, and the comedy ensemble FLOCK OF DUDES. Other recent Kilburn Media productions include Matt Shakman’s CUT BANK, which will debut in US theatres soon.