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I didn't realize that Artisan was up for sale...I wonder if this affects Twin Peaks? (1 Viewer)

David Lambert

Senior HTF Member
Aug 3, 2001
Video Business magazine reports:

Artisan Entertainment received a half-dozen or more non-binding bids to acquire the Gotham-based film and TV company by a Monday deadline.

It was believed one or more of the offers exceeded $100 million, with suitors now headed into due diligence. That's when prospective buyers will get access to an Artisan "data room" filled with company financial documents.

The Monday "soft deadline" had been extended from a previous date last week. It's likely even later offers for the company would be considered, if sufficiently lucrative for shareholders of the privately held company.

...Due diligence is expected to last two to three weeks. Thereafter, a deadline will be set for final, binding bids, with the whole process potentially wrapping by mid-July.

A participant in the process previously suggested shareholders such as Canadian broadcaster CTV or Chicago investment firm Richland Gordon could decide against selling their stakes with only the Boston-based Audax firm--a 26% stakeholder--figuring in a transaction. But another source said Monday that an acquisition of all current stakes is the most likely outcome.

"I would be very surprised if any bids would come in for less than 100%, or if they did, that they would be acceptable," said a rep of one bidder. "At least that's what we've been led to believe. We've (also) been led to believe that cash is king in this process."

That could mean that Lions Gate Entertainment, the publicly traded film and TV company, will attempt an outright acquisition of Artisan rather than a stock-based offer. The Vancouver- and L.A.-based company already has lined up prospective backers of such a move.

Other Artisan suitors include groups of individual investors, some currently involved in entertainment.

Those include a group led by producer Stanley Jaffe and former USA Films executive Scott Greenstein. And former Warner Bros. exec Jim Miller is believed to be collaborating with a private equity group out of London.

It wasn't immediately clear whether another intriguing partnership--involving Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and entertainment producer Todd Wagner--yet has made an offer for the company. Cuban's current 8% stake in Lions Gate had at least one well-placed source suggesting he and Wagner ultimately could help finance a Lions Gate bid for Artisan.

A party close to the Lions Gate bid suggested that even those with separate designs on Artisan ultimately will approach the Canadian company about a merger with Artisan.

"The next stop for anybody who does try to make a run at Artisan is to put it together with Lions Gate--there's no question," the source said. "They're mirror images of each other, and day one you would eliminate $20 million of overhead. You don't need two accounting departments, for instance."

With Lions Gate generally thought to have a stronger theatrical department than Artisan, and Artisan boasting stronger home video operations, it could also prove possible to collapse significant other infrastructure.

...No major studio is believed to be seriously eyeing an Artisan acquisition. Such a move would represent a simple library acquisition--Artisan has a 3,500-title catalog--and would likely fall below current owners' minimum selling range.
Please see the article for the full text.

The way this reads, it was public info for a while now that I think was something I should have known about, but it got under my radar somehow. Did anyone else know about this? Did I miss that thread?

Why am I posting this in software? Well, it definately jumps into my head to consider that this has a LOT to do with why we aren't seeing Twin Peaks this year, eh?

I mean, if Universal would hold off on season sets of shows like Dragnet and Law & Order because of an impending aquisition of their studio, then why wouldn't Artisan do the same?

Discuss! :)

Kai Zas

Second Unit
Jan 24, 2002
I've been holding off on watching my first season. Guess I'll have to wait a little longer.

Eric Peterson

Senior HTF Member
Aug 2, 2001
Real Name
Eric Peterson
This sounds like possible great news. Artisan screws up more DVDs then they get right. Hopefully some company with a bit more respect for film will buy them out.

Jeffrey Gray

Second Unit
Aug 11, 2001
Well, then, I'd rather see Artisan acquired by someone like...oh...Anchor Bay, maybe. But they'll never do that...:frowning:

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Dec 4, 1999
Well, then, I'd rather see Artisan acquired by someone like...oh...Anchor Bay, maybe. But they'll never do that...
You just made me think of a Stargate: We really mean it's special this time edition by Anchor Bay

Stop that, false hopes are painful :frowning:

John Sullmeyer

Second Unit
Mar 15, 2001
If Artisan doesn't release it, hopefully the Region 2 will use the high quality masters and 5.1 remixes they have sitting on the shelves at Artisan. :P

Ben Rockwell

Mar 29, 2003
From what I hear, Sony is the most likely buyer.
Huh, sounds like a SuperBit of Reservoir Dogs, T2, and Basic Instinct shouldn't be far behind...how about top resolution on Sharon Stone... :p), but only after barebones re-releases of EVERYTHING else Artisan has ever released!

It should be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

Matthew Chmiel

Senior HTF Member
Apr 26, 2000
So we'll get even more editions of T2, Reservoir Dogs, Stargate, Basic Instinct, and Total Recall on DVD. :)

As long as I see an Extreme DVD of Van Wilder from whoever buys up Artisan, I'll be happy. That and a widescreen release of Sleepless.

But would Sony really buy a studio that has a lot of "unrated" titles to their name? I can see Lions Gate as they release their share of NC-17/Unrated titles, but would Sony?

Dan Rudolph

Senior HTF Member
Dec 30, 2002
Rumor has it Sony wants to buy Artisan then use the label. Make it a sort of Miramax to their Disney.


Aug 3, 2002
Besides Twin Peaks, this may affect other special edition dvds in the pipeline. For example, Angel Heart and Red Heat to name a few. Both were mentioned a while ago.


Senior HTF Member
Dec 28, 2001
Real Name
Well, this might explain why there has been no release of the original Turtle series on DVD yet, since it was announced last year. I want a company that also owns a major broadcast network to acquire it, so we can have the show on TV again, AND a good DVD release :).

John Kilduff

Oct 27, 2001
Sony buying Artisan?

Well, that would mean that the TriStar/Carolco collaborations would be back under one roof (The Republic titles "The Running Man", "Light Of Day" and "The Monster Squad" will still eventually be going to Paramount, I believe).


John Kilduff...

Also, A "Red Heat" Special Edition? Alright...Clean Head Sweep!

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