Canada’s already cozy film market may soon become a little cozier. We hear that the country’s No. 1 independent film distributor, Alliance Films, is angling to acquire one of its largest competitors, Maple Pictures — and is deep into talks with Lionsgate to buy its 10% stake in Maple. Lionsgate is looking to pay down debt following a year during which it fended of a hostile takeover attempt by corporate raider/shareholder activist Carl Icahn to give the company to his son Brett. Lionsgate stock right now is still stuck in neutral. The Maple stake is considered peripheral. Maple grew out of Lionsgate in 2005 – it was known as Lionsgate Films before the company spun off the unit. It’s run by two former Lionsgate executives, Laurie May and Brad Pelman, and continues to distribute Lionsgate films, DVDs, and TV shows in Canada.

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