Société générale de financement du Québec invests $100 million in Alliance Films, Inc. - SGF ensures Canada's largest film distributor will move its head office to Montréal



    MONTREAL, Jan. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - By making a $100-million investment in
Alliance Films, Inc., Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) has
acquired 51% of the voting shares and a 38.5% stake in Canada's largest
independent film distributor.
    As a result of this investment, the head office of Alliance Films - the
company's decision-making centre - will be relocated to Montréal. Certain
senior management and significant portions of the finance and home video
personnel will be transferred to Montréal.
    With this investment, SGF is helping Montréal consolidate its role as one
of Canada's major film centers and position itself advantageously within the
North American and European industry, given the increasing importance of
Alliance Films' European operations.
    "We're delighted with the impact that this deal will have on Québec's
entire film and distribution industry," stated Pierre Shedleur, President and
General Manager of SGF. "With its investments, SGF not only helps attract
foreign productions to Québec, but also plays a central role in the global
film industry. In addition to greater visibility for Montréal, the partnership
will generate substantial economic spinoffs. It will also contribute to the
transfer of well-paid jobs that will enhance the city's economy," Mr. Shedleur
added.
    SGF is confident that the deal will provide a high rate of return, since
Alliance Films' distribution operations are highly profitable.

    About Alliance Films, Inc.

    Alliance Films is a leading distributor of motion pictures in Canada,
with motion picture distribution operations in the United Kingdom and Spain.
The Company distributes filmed entertainment to theatres, on DVD, and to
television broadcasters. Alliance Films holds the Canadian distribution rights
to the productions of leading independent studios, including New Line Cinema,
Miramax Films, Focus Features, The Weinstein Company.

    SGF AND QUEBEC'S FILM INDUSTRY

    The investment in Alliance Films is SGF's third major investment in the
film industry.
    In the past two years, Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF)
has played a foremost role in the local film industry. In 2007, the film
industry had its best year since 2003, in part as a result of SGF's
investments.
    In a continuous effort to attract international film production to
Québec, SGF has invested in two major projects in the past two years. In 2007,
it formed a partnership with Lionsgate, an independent U.S. producer, in a
$400-million project. By investing $140 million in the project, SGF ensured
that more than 15 feature films and television series would be produced in
Québec over the next four years.
    In 2006, SGF partnered with Dark Castle, a production company owned by
Hollywood producer Joel Silver, a $270 million film project and involves the
production of a slate of 15 feature films. By investing $18 million in the
film slate, SGF ensured that six of the films would be produced in Québec.
    In the spring of 2007, the action film Whiteout, starring Kate
Beckinsale, was shot in Montréal under SGF's deal with Dark Castle. The next
two films in the slate, The Factory, starring John Cusack, and Orphan,
starring Peter Sarsgaard, are expected to be produced in Montréal this year.
    Under SGF's agreement with Lionsgate, the sixth season of the hit series
The Dead Zone, starring Anthony Michael Hall, was shot in Montréal. Lloyd
Segan, one of the producers, had high praise for the city and the expertise of
Québec's film workforce on the series' official website:
www.usanetwork.com/series/thedeadzone/behindthescenes/fromls/lsentry061507.htm
l
    Also as part of SGF's deal with Lionsgate, the feature film Punisher: War
Zone, starring Ray Stevenson, was produced in Montréal and was one of the
largest U.S. productions shot in Montréal in 2007.
    Although the volume of foreign production has declined in recent years,
SGF's investments point to a brighter future for Québec's film industry.
    In all, SGF's investments will generate 8,200 full-time equivalent direct
and indirect jobs, representing $325 million of wages. The long-term spinoff
benefits for the industry are also considerable, in terms of manpower
development, film technology and Québec's reputation abroad.

    Société générale de financement du Québec (www.sgfqc.com), an industrial
and financial holding company, has a mission to carry out economic development
projects, with emphasis on the industrial sector, in co-operation with
partners and on standard profitability conditions, in accordance with the
economic development policy of the Québec government.

    Source:

    Marie-Claude Lemieux
    Senior Adviser
    Communications and Media Relations
    Société générale de financement du Québec
    (514) 876-9368
    mclemieux@sgfqc.com
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For further information:

For further information: Marie-Claude Lemieux, Senior Adviser,
Communications and Media Relations, Société générale de financement du Québec,
(514) 876-9368, mclemieux@sgfqc.com

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SOCIETE GENERALE DE FINANCEMENT DU QUEBEC

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