MADRID — In a move that is already lending new energy to the company, Andres Vicente Gomez has bought back the 70% owned for the past four years by Spanish telco giant Telefonica in top Spanish production-distribution house Lolafilms.
Gomez already controlled the other 30% of Lola. Telefonica bought 70% in Lola in January 2000.
Though it was pushed through in late July, the purchase was officially revealed Thursday in Telefonica’s third-quarter results.
Also Thursday, Spanish construction company 2002, based out of Spain’s eastern Levante region, inked a deal with Gomez to take a 10% stake in Lola, with an option to increase this to 20% by Jan. 31, Gomez told Daily Variety.
Telefonica’s exit from Lola marks a further step in its divestment of non-strategic assets including a spectacular raft of media interests bought by former Telefonica prexy Juan Villalonga in the late ’90s.
Rumors are rife that it will now pull out of fully owned subsid Endemol.
Gomez’s repossession of Lola is already injecting new oomph into its production activities, which, save the release of B.O. hit “Isi-Disi,” didn’t do much this year.
“My aim is to dynamize Lola, going back to the production of six to eight films a year and constructing a varied production portfolio,” Gomez said.
Since August, Gomez has greenlit two films: Luis Llosa’s English-lingo “The Feast of the Goat,” set under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and toplining Isabella Rossellini, and rock band comedy “Sinfin.”
At the American Film Market, Lola took a co-production stake in “The Last Face,” starring Javier Bardem and Robin Wright Penn, which will shoot beginning in March in South Africa.
Lola also plans a Carlos Saura opera-set portrait of Mozart librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte with Italy’s Istar and Austria’s Satel, and “Isi-Disi2” and “Isi-Disi3.”
Gomez declined to disclose the amount paid for purchase.