You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


Pandora sale also rumored in French shakeup

PARIS — The shakeup in France’s film sales and production community continues. Speculation abounds about the future of the Bouygues-owned Ciby 2000 and finance and sales company Pandora.

Sources at last week’s American Film Market told Daily Variety Ciby 2000 is up for sale as the giant Bouygues construction group seeks to concentrate on the French telephony market. Last year Ciby president Jean-Francois Fonlupt told Daily Variety he was in the process of trying to bring in outside investors who would get a maximum 40% stake in the production, distribution and sales entity. Now it appears the whole outfit is on the block. Seven-year-old Ciby has had critical success via its policy of supporting name directors such as Jane Campion, Mike Leigh, Emir Kusturica and Bernardo Bertolucci; however, three Cannes Palme d’Or wins — for “The Piano,” “Underground” and “Secrets & Lies” — have not translated into huge commercial hits.

Damage control

Ciby has limited the damage with some canny pre-selling by Ciby Sales. But in 1995, the Bouygues group was called on to carry out a $39 million capital increase, partly to cover losses and partly to continue funding production.

If Ciby is sold, Bouygues would still have an indirect interest in film production via private web TF1: Bouygues is the web’s major shareholder. TF1 has become increasingly active in financing pics, and little love is lost between TF1 management and Ciby. It has long been rumored that TF1 chairman Patrick Le Lay believes he should have overall control of all Bouygues’ audiovisual activity.

Meanwhile, TF1 is one of a handful of companies rumored to have kicked the tires of sales and finance company Pandora, currently riding a high from investing in Oscar nominee “Shine.”

Chair disenchanted

For several months now, there has been talk that Pandora chairman Christian Bourguignon wants either to bring in new shareholders or sell the company outright. Word is that Bourguignon has become disenchanted with the business. Bourguignon would not comment for Daily Variety.

However, there are increasing signs that some top execs are looking for an out. Daily Variety has talked to two experienced film execs who have been approached about replacing Pandora Cinema president Ernst Goldschmidt, the company’s film point man who is expected to leave in June. Goldschmidt denied last week that he is leaving.

The future of Pandora Cinema’s exec VP and senior sales person Sudy Coy also is uncertain. The word at AFM was that Coy may be preparing to retire.

More Voices

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    WGA, Agents Face Tough Issues on New Franchise Pact (Column)

    The Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies are seven weeks away from a deadline that could force film and TV writers to choose between their agents and their union. This is a battle that has been brewing for a year but few in the industry saw coming until a few weeks ago. [...]

  • FX Confronts Streaming Thanks to Disney

    Kicking and Screaming, FX Is Forced to Confront Future in the Stream (Column)

    During his network’s presentation at the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour, FX chief John Landgraf made waves — and headlines — by mounting perhaps his most direct criticism yet of Netflix. Landgraf, whose briefings to the press tend to rely heavily on data about the volume of shows with which FX’s competitors flood the [...]

  • Longtime TV Editor Recalls Working for

    How a Bad Director Can Spoil the Show (Guest Column)

    I have been blessed with editing some of TV’s greatest shows, working with some of the industry’s greatest minds. “The Wonder Years,” “Arrested Development,” “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “Pushing Daisies” and, most recently, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I have earned an Emmy, ACE Eddie Awards, and many nominations. But whatever kudos I’ve received, over my [...]

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content