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Canadian Firm Takes Stake in Mosaic Media

Hollywood: Capital Communications' deal is a first step in making a significant investment in the content business.


Seeking a foothold in Hollywood, a subsidiary of Canada's largest pension fund, Caisse de depot placement, has taken a minority stake in a Los Angeles talent management and production firm as a first step in making a significant investment in the content business.

The unspecified investment by Capital Communications in the newly named Mosaic Media Group, the year-old merged entity of Atlas Entertainment, Gold-Miller Management, Atlas-Third Rail Management and Third Rail Records, represents a new source of outside capital flowing into Hollywood, which recently has been the beneficiary of a major infusion from German media companies.

It also underscores the growing recognition and power of Hollywood's top talent-based management companies that also include Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and Michael Ovitz's Artists Management Group. Unlike talent agencies, they can produce their own movies, TV shows and Internet content.

Mosiac manages such talent as Jim Carrey, Ellen DeGeneres, the Wayans brothers, "Austin Powers" director Jay Roach and musical artists Alanis Morissette and the Goo Goo Dolls. It also is involved in motion picture and television production, recorded music and music publishing, and recently, online programming through its new-media division.

Producer Chuck Roven, one of Mosaic's six founding partners, said the infusion will serve as general working capital and will finance "strategic expansion of our internal divisions and possible acquisitions to augment our divisions."

Although he refused to disclose how much money Capital was injecting, he did say, "Their commitment to Hollywood through us and side by side with us could reach several hundred million dollars over the next several years."

Capital President Pierre Belanger, who also declined to specify any financial terms or the size of the company's interest in Mosaic, said, "They will be our lead partner in Hollywood, and it's the beginning of a long relationship that will lead to more investments."

Belanger, who did not dispute Roven's estimate of how much money Capital might earmark for future investments in Hollywood, said, "The reason we decided to invest with Mosaic is that their vision is in line with what we wanted to do."

Belanger said his company's objective is that a "significant amount" of Capital's diversified portfolio of about $3 billion "will be invested in the content business."

Since its creation in 1995, Capital has invested in a number of telecommunications and technology companies both here and abroad. It has interests in 78 companies in Quebec, Canada, and is partnered with Canal Plus in a cable operator in France and with Deutsch Telekom in Germany.

"We're trying to build a network," Belanger said. "Throughout Europe, we are involved in cable, broadband and wireless businesses, so we require a lot of content. We are also starting to have investments in the heart of the communications business and are talking to Mosaic about our next project," which he would not identify.

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