Lagardere, Pathe pact

Europe Images may sell French group's 600 hours of material

PARIS — France’s Lagardere Media and the film group Pathe have struck a TV production alliance involving Pathe Television and Lagardere production outfit DEMD, a Pathe insider said Friday.

Full details of the deal are expected in an official announcement within a few days. It’s expected that Lagardere’s distribution subsid Europe Images Intl. will market Pathe’s 600 hours of fiction and documentary programming. Europe Images’ catalog is one of the largest in Europe, containing 8,000 hours.

Pathe insiders first revealed that a partnership with Lagardere was in the offing a month ago.

“With the globalization of TV production, Lagardere is well placed to back Pathe’s TV production activities,” a spokesman said at the time.

Pathe’s TV fiction arm, headed by Jerome Minet, specializes in high-production-value miniseries, such as the upcoming international co-production “Young Casanova.” DEMD produces long-running TV series for TF1, including “Josephine, Profession Ange Gardien” and “Nestor Burma.”

Still better known for its print media interests via publisher Hachette Filipacchi, Lagardere is growing in importance in the television sector via interests in Canal Satellite and in theme channels such as the soon-to-be-launched Match TV, based on Paris Match, one of its most successful print titles. It owns slightly less than 30% of Canal Plus theme channel subsid Multithematiques.

Lagardere is expected to be among candidates for digital terrestrial TV licenses ahead of France’s digital launch scheduled for the end of 2002.

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