Co-founder to sell EuropaCorp stox

Pierre-Ange le Pogam, who co-founded EuropaCorp with Luc Besson, has placed his 8% shareholding in the company on the block.

EuropaCorp announced Jan. 27 that Le Pogam had resigned as a board member, seemingly ending one of the longest and most successful moviemaking partnerships in modern France.

Le Pogam has ordered Paris-based equity company Equitis Gestion to sell his 1.6 million shares “in the best conditions,” according to a statement sent to French bourse Euronext Paris.

The exec is EuropaCorp’s second biggest shareholder after Besson, who controls 62% via holding Front Line. Set up in 2000, EuropaCorp has free-floated 23.1% of shares.

Le Pogam’s decision to sell will pave the way for him to set up his own production label: A non-compete clause at EuropaCorp bans shareholders from launching rival companies. Neither Besson nor Le Pogam have gone on record to explain their rupture.

Fabrice Marchisio, Le Pogam’s lawyer, told French financial daily Les Echos at the time that his client’s resignation was due to “strategic differences” with Besson and new CEO Christophe Lambert.

While Le Pogam’s role at EuropaCorp ranged widely, it was his production responsibilities that clearly gave him some of his greatest satisfaction of late.

He shepherded EuropaCorp’s co-production of Guillaume Canet’s “Little White Lies,” which grossed $44.6 million last year in Gaul, and produced Eric Lartigau’s low-budget “The Big Picture,” another success with a $9.8 million French gross.

(John Hopewell contributed to this report.)

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