PARIS– The French commercial court of Nanterre has greenly the acquisition of Gaul’s 108-year old film lab Eclair Group which was placed under bankruptcy protection in June.
Priced at $742,000 (670,000 Euros), the acquisition by Ymagis covers Eclair Group’s businesses, assets and holdings in France, Germany and Morocco.
Ymagis will split the company into two subsids: Eclair Media SAS, which will be dedicated to content distribution and localisation services, and Eclair Cinéma SAS, which will handle postproduction and restoration.
Out of the 320 people on Eclair Group’s payroll, 233 will join the pair of newly-created Eclair Media SAS, Eclair Cinéma SAS as well as the subsidiaries acquired.
Eclair Group’s businesses will complement Ymagis Group’s existing “content services” division, providing digital content delivery to movie theatres, and opening the group up to new developments in video biz, such as services for TV channels, VOD platforms in international markets.
Founded by industrialist Charles Jourjon in 1907, Eclair Group achieved recognition with several innovations, notably the invention of different type of cameras.
But over the last few years, Eclair Group has been severely hit by the sharp decline in its photochemical activities due to the movie industry’s switch from film print to digital. As a result, the group significantly reduced its revenue and workforce. The Group went through a phase of restructuring, focusing on localisation businesses, including subtitling and dubbing, content distribution services, film and video restoration, as well as postproduction.
In 2014, Eclair Group generated 37.7 million Euros in revenue, almost entirely from the French market, while the outfit’s negative operating income reached 3.5 million Euros.