Canadian production and distribution company Media Ranch has entered negotiations to acquire the assets of local producer Salvail & Co.
The deal, in partnership with Vivianne Morin, Salvail & Co’s former general manager, will see Media Ranch purchasing the production activities and intellectual property of all Salvail & Co’s current shows and its development slate.
The proposed agreement comes after a series of sexual harassment allegations were made against Salvail & Co president Éric Salvail.
The deal is being structured to ensure Salvail & Co’s current productions can continue while also allowing Media Ranch to expand its offering in the Quebec entertainment market.
Sophie Ferron, Media Ranch president, and Morin are looking to “preserve the ongoing productions and protect the related jobs” and are in negotiations with broadcasters, Media Ranch said.
Shows affected include Les Échangistes for Radio Canada, Coup de Foudre for Vtélé and Mariepier! for Bell Media.
Ferron and Morin will establish a new company to oversee the transferred productions and development slate on completion of the acquisition,
The agreement will see all ties with Éric Salvail severed. Media Ranch said he would “no longer be involved in managing any facet of the transferred productions or associated in any way, severing all financial, management and operational ties with Mr Salvail.”
Further details of the transaction have been kept under wraps but Media Ranch Distribution will no longer distribute Salvail’s cookery format Tipsy Recipes, which has previously sold into Italy.
“When Vivianne Morin called me on Thursday to start working on the scenario we are announcing today, I had two priorities: crafting a well-thought-out redeployment that would be anything but cosmetic, and doing everything we can to protect the jobs of hundreds of professionals who had absolutely nothing to do with the recent controversy,” said Ferron.
“We hope to bring this acquisition to a successful conclusion, despite its sensitive nature and the challenges it presents.”
Morin added: “Starting on Friday, I said verbatim to the employees that I would do absolutely everything in my power to safeguard as many jobs as possible, which would require a complete, multi-dimensional transformation of our operations.
“I worked with Sophie Ferron years ago and appreciated the synergy between our respective skills in international distribution and production and knew she had certain development goals, so I knew I was approaching the right business partner when I called her. With that in mind, I am confident we will be able to regain momentum building on the solid foundation the Media Ranch family will provide.”