Canal Plus Joins Havas, Banks For Film Studio

When Gallic pay-tv Canal Plus announced last month that it was setting up its own film studio, the network left one or two questions unanswered – such as who the key investors are in Studio Canal Plus. Last week the answer became clear.

According to the web’s financial director, Claude Ravilly, Canal Plus has a 60% share in the new film production company and has invited longstanding partners to join in the venture. The network’s parent, Havas, has taken a 25% stake and the remainder of the shares are divided between two banks: Societe Generale (10%) and BNP (5%).

Ravilly announced that Canal Plus did not exclude the possibility of parting with 5% of its shares in the future, but he added that the network would remain controlling partner in the studio. Ravilly also indicated that the pay-tv management planned to put Studio Canal Plus on the Paris stock exchange within five years.

Although it is only a matter of weeks since the studio officially saw the light of day, CEO Rene Bonnell has not been idle. Studio Canal Plus now has capital of around 1.5 billion francs ($288 million) per Bonnell.

Last week, Bonnell, international producer Arnon Milchan and Germany’s multimedia entertainment company Scriba & Deyhle revealed plans for a $600 million, 20-pic production slate with Warner Bros. holding distribution rights for everything except foreign tv and pay-tv. VARIETY estimates that Bonnell brought $270 million of the production funding to the table.

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