SANTA MONICA, Calif., and LONDON, March 25, 2015 /CNW/ -- In a move reflecting Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) continued globalization, Zygi Kamasa has entered a new long-term agreement to continue serving as Chief Executive Officer of Lionsgate UK and to assume additional new responsibilities as CEO of Lionsgate's European Office, the Company announced today.
Mr. Kamasa, who has led Lionsgate's self-distribution business in the UK to record revenue and profits, will continue to grow Lionsgate UK's film, television, home entertainment and digital businesses, including distribution of Lionsgate and Summit films, production and release of its own Lionsgate UK titles and third-party acquisitions. In his expanded role he will also spearhead Lionsgate's strategic growth initiatives and new business development across Europe, including potential coproduction arrangements, M&A initiatives and entry into new lines of business.
Lionsgate UK recently expanded its distribution slate to include Summit as well as Lionsgate releases (for Summit titles produced after July 2015). Lionsgate has also relocated its international sales and distribution headquarters to London, moving its international sales executives closer to key European markets.
"Zygi is one of the entrepreneurial executives playing a leadership role in moving Lionsgate forward around the world," said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. "He and his team have grown Lionsgate UK into a vibrant and diversified company, and his expanded mandate for Europe underscores our commitment to continue building Lionsgate into a next generation global content leader."
"Zygi has achieved record results and established an important film brand at Lionsgate UK," said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. "His business acumen, creative leadership and strong talent relationships will be invaluable as he continues to grow Lionsgate UK's portfolio of businesses as well as exploring innovative growth opportunities across the European continent."
Lionsgate UK is coming off two straight years of record revenue and profits as the company continues to diversify its slate and broaden its relationships. Mr. Kamasa and his team have overseen the investment, production and distribution of more than 350 films and have launched over 150 top ten box office hits in the UK, including the first three installments of Lionsgate's global blockbuster The Hunger Games franchise, the Saw horror franchise, Olympus Has Fallen, Cabin in the Woods and Stephen Soderbergh's acclaimed hit Magic Mike.
Mr. Kamasa, a staunch advocate of the UK film industry, has also developed a strong track record in investing in UK projects including: the worldwide hit Bend it Like Beckham; Lasse Hallstrom's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt; the adaptation of Eric Lomax's autobiography The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman; and the upcoming A Little Chaos, directed by Alan Rickman and starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci and Matthias Schoenaerts.
"I'm delighted to continue growing our business within the entrepreneurial and forward-looking culture that Jon, Michael, Steve and the rest of the Lionsgate team have created," said Mr. Kamasa. "Lionsgate's emergence as a content leader with global scope positions us to continue building our portfolio of production and distribution businesses in the U.K. as well as exploring strategic opportunities across the European continent."
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black and new series such as The Royals, Manhattan, Deadbeat, Casual and Chasing Life.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, John Wick, Warm Bodies, CBS Films/Lionsgate's The DUFF, Roadside Attractions' A Most Wanted Man, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
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Peter D. Wilkes