Carole Mikita ReportingOne of the country's largest book companies has become even larger. Deseret Book acquired Excel Entertainment Group, the Latter-day Saint based film distributor and music producer.
The acquisition brings together the region's leading publisher and retailer of religious books and music and the area's most successful film group. The partnership of Deseret Book and Excel Entertainment began several years ago at a news conference for the film based on a book "The Other Side of Heaven", and yet again at another announcement for the film based on a book "The Work and The Glory".
Deseret Book also began to notice sales of videos increase dramatically recently. With so many media mergers taking place, the book company president says now seemed like the right time to join forces.
Sheri Dew, Pres. & CEO, Deseret Book: “They have distributed the films that have made the lion’s share of the money at the box office. So you look at it and say, ‘They’ve learned the film business, is there any way that we can at least collaborate?’ And those collaboration talks led to something more.”
The only overlap here is the music divisions of each, which will combine producing and distributing the work of Latter-day Saint artists.
How much the acquisition cost, no one is saying. But each side feels the new company will strengthen the finances and force everyone to look forward toward innovative projects.
Jeff Simpson, new Exec. V.P. & Chief Marketing Officer Deseret Book: "What's going on in the movie business right now, and it really is evolutionary, and this feels like a real next step in that evolution, for both companies. I think you'll see some great cross-pollination, some of the things we do in film and music and some of the things they do in book publishing."
Deseret Book customers won't see much of a change to the stores, except maybe larger video and music sections. And the films produced and distributed by Excel Entertainment will still have that name.