Cineplex Completes DDC Acquisition

By David Keene

Ciniplex Entertainment Limited Partnership, Toronto, Ontario, has just announced that it's done a deal: it has completed its plan announced just a few weeks ago, to acquireDigital Display & Communications Inc.(DDC), an implementer of digital signage networks. This should be interesting, as DDC is a big name in Content for digital signage.

Last November, I presented Digital Display & Communications two DIGI Awards, at the DIGI ceremonies at the Digital Signage Show in New York. Those Awards were for:

• Best Content, Corporate Communications

Digital Display & Communication for Rogers Communications’ UR Music

- Located inside over 300 Rogers Plus stores across Canada. The screen is ceiling mounted usually near the entrance to the store facing the customer as they enter.

- Draw the attention of the retail shopper in a Rogers Store and inform them of offers and promotions currently available.

- Content on the channel is strictly Rogers content with no outside advertisers

…. And:

• Best Content, Advertising

Digital Display & Communications for HYPE Campaign/Rogers Stores Canada

- Over 300 Rogers Plus stores across Canada

- Strictly Rogers content with no outside advertisers.

- Targeted to the 15-23 year old demographic who are Pay As You Go customers (cellphone users and the majority of their use is texting friends)

And not only did DDC win two DIGIs last year, they won the year before as well. Their content is always impressive, and they’ve been ahead of the curve from the outset of the digital signage market.

Here is the release from June 17, announcing the plan:

Cineplex Entertainment Announces Plans to Acquire Digital Display & Communications Inc. (DDC)

Toronto, Ontario, June 17, 2010 (CGX.UN): Cineplex Entertainment Limited Partnership (“Cineplex Entertainment”) announced today its agreement to acquire DDC Group International Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Digital Display & Communications Inc. (“DDC”), a leading implementer of digital signage networks and associated products and services. DDC is a Waterloo‐based digital signage company that designs, installs, maintains and operates digital signage networks on numerous software platforms in retail, financial, hospitality and entertainment markets across North America. The transaction value is approximately $3.5 million.

DDC’s services include consulting, system design, technology sourcing, creative production, project management and ongoing network operations for a number of Canada’s top brands. DDC has received prestigious awards in the North American digital signage industry including Best Content, Advertising and Best Content, Corporate Communications at the 2009 Digital Signage Show in New York. Most recently, DDC was the recipient of four awards for experiential, advertising and informational content at POPAI’s 2010 Digital Signage Awards Gala in Las Vegas.

“DDC is a recognized leader in designing, implementing and maintaining service‐based digital signage networks across North America,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex Entertainment. “Acquiring DDC enables us to further expand our existing Cineplex Digital Media business. DDC’s solutions‐focused expertise coupled with their award‐winning services allows us to expand our services to clients and puts us in a great position to significantly grow our digital media business.”

“We are thrilled to become a part of the Cineplex Entertainment family,” said Stuart Kirkpatrick, President, DDC. “By joining forces with Cineplex Digital Media, we unite with a company that shares our passion for digital signage whose strength, national reach and immense expertise positions us to deliver even greater growth and success to our clients and their networks.”

The acquisition is expected to close on or about July 2, 2010.

About DDC:

Headquartered in Waterloo, ON, DDC specializes in digital signage services from initial consultation and system design, through to ongoing content production and network operations. For more information, please visit www.thefullpicture.com.

About Cineplex Entertainment LP:

As the largest motion picture exhibitor in Canada, Cineplex Entertainment LP owns, leases or has a joint‐venture interest in 130 theatres with 1,347 screens serving approximately 70 million guests annually. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Cineplex Entertainment operates theatres from British Columbia to Quebec and is the exclusive provider of UltraAVX and the largestexhibitor of digital, 3D and IMAX projection technologies in the country. Proudly Canadian and with a workforce of approximately 10,000 employees, the company operates the following top tier brands: Cineplex Odeon, Galaxy, Famous Players, Colossus, Coliseum, SilverCity, Cinema City and Scotiabank Theatres. The units of Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, which owns approximately 99.7% of Cineplex Entertainment LP, are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol CGX.UN). For more information, visit www.cineplex.com.