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Empire Investment Holdings Acquires CSS Studios

Empire Investment Holdings, headquartered in Miami, Fla., announces that it has acquired CSS Studios, LLC (“CSS”), from Discovery Communications Inc. CSS Studios is a holding company that owns seven distinct businesses, which together comprise the largest independent post-production sound company in North America. Through this acquisition, Empire—a private investment firm focused on the acquisition and strategic management of business units from public and private corporations—adds post-production facilities Todd-AO, Soundelux, Sound One, Modern Music, POP Sound, Soundelux Design Music Group and The Hollywood Edge to its global portfolio.

The CSS collection of businesses provide creative post-production sound services to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and interactive producers. The businesses operate out of nine state-of-the-art facilities across Los Angeles and New York City, staffed by top creative and technical talent.

Empire states that its acquisition of CSS is part of a long-term strategic investment that aims to build value across the CSS brands and allow CSS to focus on the strategic direction of the company.

“The Empire team understands and respects the importance of these companies to the creative community,” says David F. Alfonso, Empire’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We intend to protect and enhance the company’s unique value proposition and creative leadership as the preferred destination for some of the most important filmmakers of our time. Our team is energized to begin working with the management team and the creative talent within each business. We will build upon the successes that the team of creative sound editorial and mixing talent has created over the years, while promoting an environment that will continue to set the standard and produce award winning results.”

“Empire demonstrated a clear passion for the business and emerged as the right owner,” says Andrew Warren, chief financial officer at Discovery Communications.

“We look forward to partnering with the team at Empire, as we focus on continuing to build on the body of award-winning work created by the best talent in the industry,” says Robert C. Rosenthal, president at CSS Studios.

Empire engaged Ropes & Gray LLP, Lockton, RJC Group and Mr. J. Patrick (Rick) Michaels, Jr. from CEA Associates as its advisors for the transaction.

Peter J. Solomon Company acted as financial advisor, and Proskauer Rose LLP acted as legal advisor to Discovery Communications.

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