TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2013) - BMO Financial Group today announced it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the loan assets of Aver Media, a leading private, Canadian-based film and TV media lending company.
Aver Media was co-founded in 2006 by Peter Sussman and Bradley Sherman. Aver Media's senior management and lending team, including Sussman and Sherman, will be joining BMO with the acquisition.
The acquisition will provide BMO with additional opportunities to build its commercial business by expanding its presence in an industry with high growth trends. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, fiscal 2013.
"This acquisition will combine Aver Media's notable industry presence, deep-rooted industry knowledge and relationships with key industry players, with BMO's commercial presence and expertise. This combination will create a strong market player in the media lending sector," said Jim Kelsey, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Finance Division, Personal and Commercial Banking Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Aver Media's clients will benefit from BMO's financial strength and commercial expertise while BMO's existing media sector clients will benefit from the industry knowledge and reputation of the Aver Media management team."
Peter Sussman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Aver Media said: "Joining BMO means Aver Media will benefit from the Bank's capital position, enabling us to increase our focus on bringing in new clients and deepen our relationships with existing clients. It's business as usual at Aver Media, only better."
"Aver Media has an excellent management team who are well known to the bank's existing client base. The knowledge and contacts we are acquiring with this purchase will bring a high level of credibility to our capabilities in this sector; we are pleased to welcome them to BMO and look forward to working with this exceptionally talented group to capitalize on growth opportunities," said Mr. Kelsey.
Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
About Aver Media
Aver Media was founded in 2006 as an innovative, private global media financier that specializes in providing secured debt financing, sales consulting and advisory services to producers and distributors of television programs, theatrical feature films, and digital media content. Aver Media's role as a media financier is for the most part, that of bridge lender, i.e. bridging cash flow timing differences between requirements and expected receipts from license fees, tax credits and various other financing sources.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at October 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.
The film and television production industry in Canada is comprised primarily of three key sectors:
Canadian Proprietary Production:
The largest of the three sectors, Canadian owned production, includes both television production and theatrical feature film production.
Foreign Location and Service Production:
Second largest sector, comprised of feature films and television programs filmed in Canada by foreign producers or by Canadian service producers on behalf of foreign producers (typically U.S.-based producers).
Broadcaster In-House Production:
Smallest sector, television programs made by Canadian television broadcasters in their own facilities, comprised primarily of news, sports and current affairs programming.
Industry Outlook - Canada
Strong industry growth trends are expected over the next 5-10 years as CRTC regulations for changes in control of broadcasters have created additional spending requirements for Canadian content. As well, Canadian produced shows are enjoying ever increasing international market popularity and presence.
Industry Outlook - U.S.
The U.S. market is dominated by the studio system with a muted independent sector. This is particularly true in the television market.
A number of U.S. States recently introduced a tax credit program, so there is increasing support for independent production. Many independent U.S. production initiatives are pursued elsewhere, particularly Canada.