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UK hails Lionsgate’s London sales move

The British government has hailed a move that will see US studio Lionsgate relocate its international sales headquarters from Santa Monica to London.

Several key executives including motion picture group executive VPs Wendy Reeds and Crystal Bourbeau are making the move to the English capital, with several more execs being recruited for the new base.

George Osborne, the Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “I am delighted that Lionsgate will establish its international sales headquarters in the UK. This is testament that Britain is open for business.”

Lionsgate’s international HQ will now be based at the Lionsgate UK office, which Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer described as “coming off two banner years in a row” in an investors’ call on Friday.

“The relocation of our international sales headquarters accelerates our evolution into a truly global organisation and brings us closer to our overseas markets,” added Feltheimer.

“The UK government has been an extremely supportive partner in facilitating a move that positions us to capitalise even more fully on tremendous growth opportunities in the global marketplace.”

This comes after Lionsgate posted record international revenue last year, and more recently announced expanded output agreements with the likes of France’s Studiocanal, Tele Munchen Group in Germany, Roadshow Pictures in Australia, Nordisk Film in Scandinavia and Belga Films in Benelux as well as a new output arrangement with Italy’s Leone Film Group. Lionsgate is also launching an OTT service in China with The Alibaba Group.

Lionsgate sells TV shows including Orange is the New Black, Mad Men and Nurse Jackie internationally.

On Friday, Lionsgate posted first quarter revenues of US$449.4 million, down significantly from the US$569.7 million posted a year before. Earnings were up, however, to US$43.2 million from US$13.6 million in 2013. TV production revenues dipped to US$117.5 million from US$131.1 million a year earlier.