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Post Group Pending Sale

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The Post Group, a leading independent postproduction facility in Los Angeles, is in the process of being sold to brothers Matt and David Cooper, who have produced and made low-budget films together and are now building a mini-empire in postproduction.The Post Group sale hadn’t been inked, and was still in late-stage negotiations when Below the Line went to press. However, a final agreement was expected to be reached within a month, provided the rest of the negotiations went smoothly. Matt Cooper is also head of Lightning Media, a duplication company which recently bought DVD replication plants. And he’s a significant investor in iO Film, an up-and-coming provider of the full range of digital intermediate (DI) services. Lightning and iO Film announced a partnership in early JanuaryThe pending combination of the three entities would significantly further Cooper’s plan to create a one-stop, full-service shop centered around the new hot spot in postproduction: DI for films and television productions. The broad outlines of the sale were laid out in a Jan. 20 “status report” memo from The Post Group founder and owner Fred Rheinstein to the firm’s employees: “We are more than mid-way through the due diligence process in a transaction that hopefully will result in the sale of The Post Group to a new enterprise to be formed by Matt and David Cooper. The Post Group will join two other enterprises owned by the Coopers: Lightning Media and iO Film. The name will stay, the location will remain the same. I will stay, now as vice chairman.“The acquisition began several months ago when we entered discussions to form an alliance with iO Film which would enable us to offer the digital intermediate services that are daily becoming more important to our business. At a point, Matt suggested to me that his team had resources, talent and (yes) youth better able to take The Post Group to the next level. I agreed.” The Post Group, known for its leading-edge technology, offers high-definition and standard-definition postproduction services, including telecine, editing, visual effects, audio sweetening, conversions, quality control and duplication. Clients include major studios, networks and producers.Matt Cooper was not available for comment. But when he announced the partnership between Lightning and iO on Jan. 5, he said: “I can see the blending of DI and postproduction resources not just as an attractive proposition, but as an eventual necessity. I believe that within the next year, almost every medium- to high-budget filmmaker is going to want digital intermediates.” According to Rheinstein’s memo, while he will remain as vice chairman, “it’s Matt Cooper’s choice to initially manage the Post Group.” Stephen Buchsbaum, formerly a colorist at The Post Group, is now president of Lightning. “He was very im-portant to making this current deal work,” Rheinstein added. Three-year old iO will remain a separate company after purchase of The Post Group. Cooper’s stake in iO has not been disclosed, but it’s believed to be just under half, making him a minority holder. The funding source for Matt and David Cooper is not known. Meanwhile, iO has announced plans to move later this year into a new 30,000 sq. ft. space that’s being built out as a complete DI facility. It is located in Hollywood at 1415 N. Cahuenga, just south of Sunset Blvd. And that’s conveniently only 100 feet from headquarters of The Post Group.

Written by Jack Egan

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