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Pacific Capital takes Senator stake

Scaglia fund expected to boost growth

BERLIN — Luxembourg investment fund Pacific Capital Sarl has acquired a 29.9% share in producer-distrib Senator Entertainment.

Senator chief exec Helge Sasse said the fund, headed by Italian investor Silvio Scaglia, would boost the Berlin-based company’s prospects.

“I’m very happy to welcome our new major shareholder Pacific Capital since Silvio Scaglia knows the media business and is well-known as a reliable investor who can provide a firm with long-term stability and potential for healthy growth.”

Pacific Capital looks for investment opportunities worldwide in both the public and private sectors.

Scaglia founded Italy’s second-largest telecom firm Fastweb in 1999, serving as its majority shareholder until 2007, when he sold it to Swisscom for Euros3.1 billion ($3.9 billion). He launched Pacific Capital the same year. Prior to Fastweb, Scaglia was CEO of wireless outfit Omnitel, now Vodafone Italy.

With its powerful new backer, Senator is sure to build on a stellar 2012 performance. The company became the leading independent distrib in Germany this year thanks to the stratospheric success of French comedy “The Intouchables,” which made $76.6 million at the box office in Germany. With its 10.6% market share, Senator ranked fourth behind Fox, Universal, Sony and Warner — and ahead of Disney and Paramount — between January and August.

Its upcoming releases include Frank Langella starrer “Robot & Frank”; Anton Corbijn’s John le Carre adaptation, “A Most Wanted Man,” with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams; and “Happiness Never Comes Alone,” starring Sophie Marceau.

Senator more than doubled its revenue in the first half of 2012 to $34.4 million, achieving a net profit of $6 million.

The distrib has an output deal with Relativity Media in Germany and is in negotiations with the group to handle international sales for Relativity titles.

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