Post-Production Firm Four Media Buys MSCL for $69 Million in Cash, Stock


In one of its largest deals to date, Four Media Co., or 4MC, has acquired MSCL Inc., also known as Encore Group, in a deal valued at about $69 million in cash and stock.

Burbank-based Four Media has made a string of multimillion-dollar acquisitions over the last several years in an effort to consolidate the long-fragmented post-production business, which includes such areas as editing, film-to-video transfer, and visual effects for film, TV and commercials.

Los Angeles-based Encore owns two facilities in Hollywood and one in Santa Monica. The firm also owns FilmCore Editorial, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The acquisition solidifies Four Media's presence in Santa Monica, a growing hub for commercial work. In late 1997, Four Media announced its acquisition of Santa Monica-based Pacific Ocean Post, which also specializes in commercials.

Four Media has emerged as a major consolidator of the post-production business, along with Los Angeles-based Todd-AO Corp. Both companies are looking to cash in on a growing worldwide demand for post-production work, while mitigating the risks associated with highly cyclical businesses, such as movie special effects, with steadier businesses such as television and commercial services.

Four Media shares fell 13 cents to close at $4.25 on Nasdaq.

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