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Job losses expected at Eyeworks International Distribution

The futures of around 20 staff at Eyeworks International Distribution (EID) are unclear following Warner Bros.’s acquisition of the rest of the Eyeworks Group.

Reinout OerlemansSources have said EID staffers are contracted until the end of the year, at which point an unspecified number will move to new roles within sister company Eyeworks USA and others will exit the business.

EID and Eyeworks USA are separate entities, though they share office space and back-end facilities. Neither were part of the Warner Bros. deal, which saw the Eyeworks Group fetch €200 million (US$280 million) more than a month ago, though the US studio took on distribution of the EID catalogue on completion of the deal.

This means Warner is now selling finished programming and formats including Celebrity SplashTest the Nation and Beat the Blondes, which EID sales staff previously handled.

Eyeworks Internation Distribution’s team, which is based in LA and Amsterdam and comprises around 10 staff at each location, are assisting with the handover to Warner Bros, according to a source.

The news comes as the structure of the newly independent Eyeworks USA prodco emerges post-Warner Bros.

It is understood Eyeworks founder Reinout Oerlemans (pictured) remains intent on moving to LA to take the reins at Eyeworks USA as chairman, despite having suffered a major health incident earlier this year. His move from Amsterdam was described to TBI “imminent”.

Oerlemans’ move to the US – revealed in February upon announcement Warner Bros. was acquiring the Eyeworks Group – was thrown into doubt after he suffered a heart attack in Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, Eyeworks USA CEO JD Roth looks set to remain in charge of creative development and production, while Jeff Goldman is understood to be close to securing a senior management role. He is already EID’s co-managing director alongside Ross Weintraub, who is also Eyeworks USA COO and will also remain with the firm.

A source said Oerlemans will seek to take the company “in new directions”. It is understood these could include high-end US scripted drama and digital ventures.

Eyeworks US declined to comment.