EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media made enquiries last month to buy Focus Features after the corporate shake-up at Universal was announced, according to several well placed sources.
The development emerged as incoming Focus CEO Peter Schlessel unveiled a slew of further executive appointments for the reconfigured company ahead of the January 2014 launch.
Relativity did not comment and a spokesperson for Universal said Focus was not for sale and denied there had been any offers.
Relativity has a storied history with Focus parent Universal. In 2009, Relativity acquired Focus genre label Rogue Pictures and Ryan Kavanaugh’s powerhouse co-financed the Universal slate for a number of years, spinning off its fund more recently to former backer Elliot Management Corp.
Meanwhile, reports that Media Rights Capital top brass have also been kicking the tyres at Focus were denied by spokespeople for Universal and MRC.
These are interesting times in the Focus fold.
In light of this week’s news that Focus Features International will close at the end of December, Sierra/Affinity has taken over sales on the Intrepid Pictures genre titles Somnia and Oculus.
That development is the result of good terms between Sierra/Affinity’s Nick Meyer and Intrepid’s Trevor Macy.
However, there has also been speculation in the industry as to whether Meyer will parlay close ties with Schlessel into a broader sales role on the existing and future Focus slate.
Both Universal and Sierra/Affinity declined to comment.
Schlessel’s executive suite continues to take shape. Film District’s Beth Lemberger was named evp of business affairs and Brad Goldberg evp of marketing, while Focus Features’ Robert T Gibson is set to continue as CFO and svp of finance.