It's Official, Howie Mandel Has Bought Just For Laughs
Keeping it (sort of) Canadian!
After tons of rumours the past few weeks about Just For Laughs being sold off, there is finally some clarity today.
As of yesterday, Just For Laughs has confirmed that they have closed the deal on their sale to an American company.
Montreal's iconic comedy company gave the word last night that they have indeed sold to an L.A. based agency, ICM Partners.
Now, I know a lot of Canadians were offended by Just For Laughs being sold to an American entity - but we still have some roots here.
Howie Mandel's bid for Just For Laughs in a partnership with ICM Partners has been accepted, and JFL is now theirs.
Howie Mandel is a Canadian gem. All you kids probably know him best from his judging stints on America's Got Talent, or as the host of Deal or No Deal. Lots of other Canadian's will remember him as the creator, and star of cartoon Bobby's World...
Mandel has over has 35 years in the industry, making him an undeniable legend.
This is good news, and could bring Just For Laughs some new life!
Just For Laughs' headquarters will remain right here in Montreal!
All of this stems from the JFL founder and former president Gilbert Rozon, who was accused of sexual misconduct and assault and stepped down this past October.
Rozon was the majority shareholder, and with his departure, his shares went to market - resulting in the purchase by Howie Mandel and ICM Partners.
Media juggernaut, Quebecor, reserved the right to refuse the sale based on their 2012 partnership deal with the comedy festival, but last week they did not exercise that right.
L.A. agency, ICM Partners, are the folks behind some of the biggest television programs today including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Modern Family and Dancing With The Stars - just to name a few.
There were 7 media companies and groups that expressed interest in buying Just For Laughs, but as of yesterday, it's a win for Howie Mandel and ICM Partners.
I don't think this will affect Just For Laughs too much, or bring too many changes to the Canadian comedy company we know and love. But, I guess we shall see!