TF1 looks to sell sales arm

Catalog includes 'La Vie en rose,' 'The Piano'

French commercial broadcaster TF1 confirmed Wednesday that it is putting its film distribution and international sales subsidiary, TF1 Intl., up for bid but would not discuss financial details.

TF1 Intl. has more than 600 French and international titles in its catalog, including “La Vie en rose,” “Brice de Nice” and “The Piano.”

Revenues from the catalog fell 48.5% to E28.2 million ($41.4 million) in the first half of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007. The company blamed this drop on lower than expected income from theatrical releases and unusually high takings from “La Vie en rose” in 2007.

Speculation in the French press suggests several possible buyers including Orange, Studio Canal and the producer Tarak Ben Ammar.