Screen industry set for $400m federal boost

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 17-Jul-20

The federal government has announced $400 million in additional funding for the film and television industry as Australia hopes to take advantage of its success in dealing with COVID-19 to lure productions from other countries. The government hopes the expansion of its incentive scheme rules will help support as many as 8,000 short and long-term jobs a year, while large film and TV projects are reckoned to be worth $3 billion in foreign expenditure. The government has previously announced $250 million in support to help get Australia’s creative economy reactivated over the next 12 months.

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BGH bid to take Village Roadshow private

Original article by Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 19-May-20

Shares in theme parks and cinemas operator Village Roadshow rose 17 per cent to $2.09 on 18 May after it advised that private equity firm BGH Capital is in discussions to acquire it for up to $468.5 million. BGH’s due diligence on Village is expected to take four weeks, and its bid is subject to a number of conditions, including obtaining Foreign Investment Review Board approval and securing debt financing. As well as advising of BGH’s offer, Village provided an trading update which noted that it only had $58 million in cash at the end of April.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD

Chinese giant snaps up Beatles

Original article by James Dean
The Australian – Page: 3 : 2-Jan-20

A consortium led by Chinese internet company Tencent has signed a deal to buy 10 per cent of Universal Music Group, with an option to increase its stake to 20 per cent within a year. UMG, which is the world’s largest music label, is a unit of French company Vivendi, which also owns advertising group Havas and pay-TV company Canal+. The deal gives the Tencent-led consortium access to the back catalogues of Queen and the Beatles, along with artists such as Adele and Taylor Swift.

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TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, VIVENDI SA, HAVAS, CANAL PLUS SA

Village Roadshow screened rival offer before Pacific Equity Partners deal

Original article by Kylar Loussikian, Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 24-Dec-19

Morningstar estimates that there is a 75 per cent chance that Village Roadshow Limited shareholders will accept a takeover proposal from Pacific Equity Partners. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Village Roadshow Corporation’s owners considered a rival offer from BGH Capital before agreeing to accept PEP’s offer for its stake in VRL. VRC is owned by Robert Kirby, John Kirby and VRL CEO Graham Burke.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, VILLAGE ROADSHOW CORPORATION LIMITED, PACIFIC EQUITY PARTNERS PTY LTD, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD

Private equity raids the Village

Original article by Ben Wilmot, Bridget Carter
The Australian – Page: 15 & 21 : 20-Dec-19

Pacific Equity Partners has made a conditional, non-binding and indicative takeover offer for cinemas and theme parks group Village Roadshow. The offer of $3.90 per share values Village at about $1bn, or $761.2m when its debt is excluded. Shares in Village closed $0.69 higher at $3.89 on 19 December, in response to the private equity firm’s scheme of arrangement proposal.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, PACIFIC EQUITY PARTNERS PTY LTD, VILLAGE ROADSHOW CORPORATION LIMITED, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD

The Nightingale on song at AACTAs

Original article by Philippa Hawker, Kieran Gair
The Australian – Page: 3 : 5-Dec-19

‘The Nightingale’ won four Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts awards on 4 December. They included the categories of best film, best director and best screenplay; the film previously received two awards in the first stage of the AACTAs presentation earlier in the week. Meanwhile, ‘Total Control’ has won the award for best TV drama series, while ‘Lambs of God’ was named the best telefeature or mini-series.

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AUSTRALIAN ACADEMY OF CINEMA AND TELEVISION ARTS

Free TV miffed by government’s iceberg of policy in a sea of nothing

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 15-Apr-19

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has criticised the federal government’s failure to relax the content requirements of traditional broadcasters after nearly six years in office. She was responding to its decision to allow streaming video companies to access tax offsets for content that is filmed in Australia. Traditional broadcasters remain subject to quotas for content such as children’s programs and adult dramas. Fair contends that such quotas do not reflect changes in viewing habits.

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FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, TEN ALL-ACCESS

Lachlan could reunite Murdoch family empire

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 25-Mar-19

Lachlan Murdoch has taken over as CEO of Fox Corporation, while he remains co-chairman of News Corporation. There is speculation that he may seek to re-combine the two Murdoch family businesses, but any action on this front would be unlikely to occur for at least another two years. Like his father Rupert, Lachlan Murdoch is regarded as being passionate about publishing; he began his involvement with News Corp at the age of 16 when he cleaned printing presses in Queensland.

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NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FOX CORPORATION, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, 21ST CENTURY FOX INCORPORATED

Film, TV aim to build on record year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 30-Oct-18

Australia’s film and TV industry spend a record $718m on local productions in 2017-18, which is seven per cent higher than previously. Spending on feature films rose from $287m to $321m, although spending on TV dramas fell from $321m to $295m. However, Screen Australia’s COO Michael Brealey notes that expenditure on drama remained above its five-year average. Local film and TV production is forecast to remain strong in 2018-19, while Screen Australia expects the federal government’s location incentive program to boost the number of international productions.

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SCREEN AUSTRALIA, VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED

How local producers survived the Netflix streaming tsunami

Original article by Justin Burke
The Australian – Page: 24 & 26 : 8-Oct-18

The growth of subscription video-on-demand services in Australia has prompted local TV production companies to embrace co-productions. Fremantle Australia CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor says such deals will ensure that the local market remains viable. The ABC in particular has embraced SVOD co-productions, and it now makes a number of shows in partnership with Netflix. Meanwhile, Netflix will launch its first original Australian production in late 2018. Data from Roy Morgan shows that 10 million Australians now have access to Netflix at home, an increase of 30 per cent in the last 12 months.

CORPORATES
FREMANTLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, ROY MORGAN LIMITED, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), CORDELL JIGSAW ZAPRUDER