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Avanzit purchases boutique Notro

Buy has immediate effect on Spain's indie distrib sector

Notro Films, one of Spain’s top boutique film distribution houses, has been bought by burgeoning Spanish film and TV player Avanzit.

Deal was put through by a share swap between Notro and the Corporacion Espanola de Contenidos Audiovisuales (CECSA), a subsid holding of Avanzit, housing its film and TV companies. Notro was bought for E29.5 million ($38.3 million).

After the agreement, Notro now holds a reported 14%-16% stake in CECSA, achieved through a capital increase, while CECSA has bought up the whole of Notro. Accord sees Notro founder Jose Maria Irisarri becoming CECSA exec prexy.

Notro’s buy has immediate consequences for Spain’s indie distribution sector, which is attending the Berlin Film Festival in force.

CECSA already owns Barcelona-based Manga Films, one of Spain’s top indie distributors of mainstream movies.

After Avanzit’s swoop on Notro, Notro and Manga will form a complementary buying alliance covering the whole spectrum of buys. Manga pick-ups included 2006 hits “Crash” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.” Notro’s distributes generally more niche pics such as “Manuale d’amore” or Asian fare.

Also, though Notro has proved a cautious buyer, it is now backed by a conglom and will have the confidence to exercise buying muscle, if or when it should desire.

“We won’t be pushing the boat out on the number of films we buy or prices, but we do now have a combined film buying front with Manga,” Notro CEO Adolfo Blanco told Daily Variety at Berlin.

CECSA also owns indie production house Telespan 2000 and post-production giant Telson.

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