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Portugal to privatize Tobis

Film lab likely to slash staff

LISBON — Portugal’s film institute, ICA, has announced it will privatize the national film lab, Tobis Portuguesa, in which it holds a 96.4% stake.

Founded in 1932, as a subsidiary of the German giant Tobis Klangfilm, the lab is one of Portugal’s oldest film companies, but is reported to be on the verge of bankruptcy. Its debts of around E5 million ($6.14 million) are blamed on over-staffing, falling lab work and the Portuguese film-funding crisis.

Assets include prime real-estate, equipment and an extensive film library.

ICA’s president, Jose Pedro Ribeiro, said that the sale will generate a vital cash injection for cash-strapped ICA and admitted that a private buyer is likely to slash Tobis’ staff of 66.

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