Vivendi Entertainment, formerly Vivendi Visual Entertainment, is branching out from its home entertainment expertise into theatrical releasing and plans to launch eight-14 films a year.

Mike Doban will head the new division, which will provide distribution and marketing services and co-ordinate P&A funding. Doban has worked in distribution and exhibition for 27 years including 15 years at United Artists and was also was a co-founder of Freestyle Releasing.

The announcement was made today by newly named president of Vivendi Entertainment Tom O'Malley, who previously served as general manager of VVE and reports to Universal Music Group Distribution president and CEO Jim Urie.

'Vivendi Entertainment now offers a full array of distribution services including theatrical, home entertainment, digital and television,' O'Malley said. 'Launching the theatrical distribution division allows us to expand the services we provide to our customers and improve our overall market position.

'We offer an alternative to film-makers in that we do not produce our own films, instead our business model exists to provide focus and dedicated distribution and marketing services. The cornerstones for the company will continue to be collaboration and financial transparency.'