After the markets had closed on the eve of the USA Thanksgiving weekend, the LA Times reports that "Deluxe Entertainment Services Group said Wednesday it has reached an agreement to acquire the bulk of Ascent Media Group, the Santa Monica-based postproduction company, for $68 million".

We understand that the purchase price has been allocated as follows: 79% to the U.S. businesses and 21% to the U.K. businesses. In America Ascent Media owned Company 3, Method, Encore Hollywood, and Level 3 Post, (amongst others) and in London,- Rushes and Ascent 142.

The Hollywood Reporter is publishing that Ascent-owned Company 3 colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld (Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,) "will remain with the company". Deluxe-owned EFILM, already has a very strong reputation built on senior colorists such as Steve Scott (Iron Man 2, Julie & Julia).

The acquisition includes Ascent's facilities in Burbank, Hollywoood and Santa Monica that employ 1,800, as well as operations in the U.K. Ascent said it would retain its content distribution business, which includes providing satellite transmission services to broadcasters and networks.

Ascent Media was formely part of Discovery Communications until it was spun off as a separate company in 2008. "Its holding company posted a net loss of $6.2 million on revenue of $204 million for the six months ending June 30, narrowed from a net loss of $13.7 million on revenue of $230 million for the same period a year earlier", reported the LA Times.

When last Assent published its quarterly results William Fitzgerald, CEO of Ascent Media Corporation said. “Ascent’s year-to-date operating results have not met our expectations as uncertainty about the timing and pace of the economic recovery has led to ongoing volatility in the media marketplace,” and adding that as a consequence of the current environment is that our customers have continued to take "a cautious approach" to spending.

In the official Assent press release they commented: "Ascent Media will continue to own AMG's content distribution and systems integration businesses. However, the Company is pursuing strategic alternatives for both business units. In addition, the Company is committed to pursuing investments in or the acquisition of businesses that provide enhanced shareholder return opportunities."

The Deluxe transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and legal issues but is expected to close by the end of 2010.

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