XDC is the system integrator and financier for 350 digital screens in Europe, with exhibition deals in place that will expand its installation base to 720 screens. The company was spun out of EVS Broadcast, who continues to own 47% of the company. EVS has a market cap of $493M, with a similar two-year drop in stock value (50%) as that of its peer companies in entertainment.
In late 2007, XDC brought on-board Serge Plasch, formerly of cinema advertising company Screenvision Benelux, as its new CEO. Prior to Serge’s arrival, XDC was often painted as an oddity in digital cinema, pursuing a rental business model that didn’t work, and supplying servers that failed to comply with DCI specifications. While many of the changes seen today have roots prior to his arrival, Serge has become a figurehead for change at XDC.
Today, XDC’s story is very different from that of its past. Thanks to its EVS heritage, XDC builds its own digital cinema server, now designed to be DCI compliant. As with other system integrators, XDC also builds its own TMS. XDC also offers digital cinema mastering and distribution services, and has alternative content deals in place.
In May of 2008, XDC announced the signing of VPF agreements with four major film studios, followed a month later by an announcement that it had signed with the remaining two studios. This was a major accomplishment for any system integrator today, particularly the signing up of Warner Bros. WB’s signing, however, is attributed to the low value of the XDC VPF itself, which is estimated to be only 75% of that which DCIP negotiated.
However, VPF agreements are meaningless without capital. XDC is in process with Fortis Bank to secure €100M for financing digital cinema systems. The deal-in-progress was announced mid-October, but no announcement of closing the deal has followed.