from the internets: Canadian investment group buying Toronto’s Starz Animation

Starz always gets unnecessary flak for being owned by a US based company.  Seems like that’s about to change.


Canadian investors buy T.O. animation studio

Touchstone Pictures' 'Gnomeo and Juliet'
Touchstone Pictures' 'Gnomeo and Juliet'

Touchstone Pictures’ ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’

Date: Friday Mar. 4, 2011 6:54 AM ET

TORONTO — A Canadian group is buying control of Starz Animation Toronto, a digital media studio that created the recently released feature film “Gnomeo & Juliet.”

Marketing executive J. Thomas Murray and executive producer Steven B. Hecht lead the group that’s buying a majority stake from Starz LLC.

Financial terms of the transaction aren’t being disclosed.

Starz LLC will continue to own a minority stake in the studio but plans to focus on live action-TV programming.

Starz LLC is headed by Chris Albrecht, a former chief executive of HBO from 2002 to 2007.

During his tenure, HBO produced several acclaimed television series including “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos.”

“We are very proud of the work that the Starz Animation Toronto team has created over the last few years, work that stands up to anything coming from the major studios,” Albrecht said Thursday.

“As a minority partner, we remain committed to the growth of the company.”

Speaking for the buyers, Hecht said that under Canadian control Starz Animation will be eligible for significant grants, labour tax credits and subsidies.

The company noted that in 2009, the Ontario government announced a grant of nearly $23 million to help Starz Animation Toronto create and retain 250 jobs at its studio.

Starz Animation Toronto is a leader in computer-generated animation, which it produces for Hollywood studios and television producers.

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