When Hollywood-based independent film finance and production company Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE) decided to make its joint venture with Ivanhoe Entertainment permanent, Cozen O’Connor was there to help navigate and negotiate the transaction. Since 2015, SKE and Hong Kong-based Ivanhoe Pictures have cooperated in a joint venture to co-produce local language films for an international audience. Recently, the two production companies decided to permanently pursue international opportunities together as the newly formed SK Global. Some of the 75 feature films that are now part of the combined library include Hell or High Water, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Age of Adaline, United 93, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Kite Runner, and Adventureland.
In 2015, SKE partnered with Ivanhoe Entertainment, which has offices in Hong Kong, New York, London, and Singapore, in an effort to expand SKE’s international opportunities without jeopardizing its domestic success. The accomplishments of the joint venture led the two entertainment powerhouses to combine their assets — including films and rights for films, licensing, and production — into one company. The Cozen O’Connor team worked with SKE throughout the cross-border transaction, including negotiating purchase, stockholder, and contribution agreements. Our attorneys were also instrumental in fulfilling both companies’ desire to strategically raise additional capital while maintaining significant ownership of the newly formed company. As a result of their merger, SK Global is now the parent company of SKE and Ivanhoe Entertainment, both of which will continue to release film and TV projects under their respective labels.
Following the transaction, SKE President John Penotti said, “We are very appreciative of Cozen O’Connor’s guidance and sage advice on this transformative transaction. They consistently helped us navigate through several complicated matters.” SKE’s Chairman and CEO Sidney Kimmel and Ivanhoe Pictures’ Chairman Robert Friedland will serve as co-chairmen of SK Global. According to Kimmel and Friedland, “Putting our respective operations under a larger tent has been an organic process. A unified SK Global gives us the strengthened operations and assets to grow our individual and collective businesses, and to expand the scope and creation of our international content.”