Filmax sees more capital

Tirant Inversion takes stake in Filmax

MADRID — Barcelona mini-major Filmax Ent. has put through a 20 million euros ($27 million) capital increase.

Underwritten by Filmax’s shareholders, the move also sees Spanish risk capital fund Tirant Inversion taken a small, undisclosed stake in Filmax. The shareholding has been reported as 2%-3%.

The capital boost and Tirant’s purchase of a Filmax stake both form part of a new strategic plan approved by Filmax’s board. This envisages the company raising north of $135 million in new investment over the next three years.

The new coin will permit Filmax’s “consolidation as a leading European studio, upping its production of film and TV contents and live entertainment,” the company declared Wednesday.

The investment will also accelerate Filmax’s own currently ongoing restructuring which has seen it downscale film distribution in favor of increasingly wide-based production.

In a press release, Filmax also outlined its interest in “acquiring or merging with other companies” which offer synergies.

Filmax sales in 2006 reached $148.7 million, with operating profits at $74.4 million.

Whammied by unauthorized P2Ping, Spain’s theatrical (down 5% in admissions last year) and DVD markets (down 6%) are hurting, however.

All the more reason for Filmax to scale back on domestic distribution in favor of international production which recoups from a wide geographical base.

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