IAC's Electus Acquires Engine Entertainment, Forms Global Distribution Arm


Multimedia entertainment studio Electus on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Engine Entertainment. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2009 by former NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman and Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, Electus now plans to form an in-house global distribution arm named Electus/Engine Distribution, which will handle worldwide sales for Electus' content, including television, motion picture and digital.

Engine Entertainment CEO Chris Philip will assume the role of president of Electus/Engine Distribution, which will maintain offices in London, Miami, New York and Los Angeles. "The content distribution business is changing, and I believe Chris and his team are a force in international TV distribution," Silverman said on Tuesday.

As president, Philip will oversee the day-to-day operations of the division, handling distribution of Electus' programming as well as programs and formats from other third-party providers. Chris Moreton, currently the COO of Engine Entertainment, will assume the role of EVP of the new division.

Prior to its acquisition, Electus and Engine Entertainment had worked together to create and distribute various programming. Announced last year, Electus and Engine co-produced and distributed "Thumb Wars," an interactive smartphone treasure hunt game show for the U.S. and global markets with sales in multiple territories. The partnership packages a hybrid reality competition format to involve network, advertising and digital integration offering a platform for advertisers and electronic applications.

Since its launch, Engine Entertainment has sourced over six hundred hours of content for distribution -- including a mix of U.S. shows that aired on Fox Sports Net, Showtime, PBS, Hulu, and HGTV. It has also partnered with the creator of "Baywatch," Greg Bonann, and QED's Bill Block, for the international distribution of Greg Bonann's latest series, "Pt. Dume," which is being cleared throughout the U.S. by Twentieth Century Fox and Tribune Broadcasting.

According to Silverman, Electus/Engine Distribution complements existing Electus international distribution partnerships, including one with Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Group, which will continue international distribution of its current deals such as Cuckoo's Nest, Master of the Mix, P.I. Moms and Hiccups.

As part of the partnership between Electus and Guy Hameiri's Abbot Reif Hameiri Production Company, the production company in Israel, Electus/Engine Distribution now serves as the international sales team for the company's programming.

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