×

China’s Fundamental Films Acquires a 28% Stake in EuropaCorp

China’s FF Motion Invest, a subsidiary of Mark Gao’s Fundamental Films, has plowed 60 million euros ($67.9 million) into Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, acquiring a 27.9% stake in the company and becoming its second-biggest shareholder.

Aimed at financing EuropaCorp’s global growth strategy, the pact builds on the two companies’ long-standing partnership, which began in 2012 with an output deal and was extended in 2015. Fundamental also co-produced several EuropaCorp movies, including the “Transporter” trilogy reboot, and took a large equity stake in Besson’s 197-milion-euro sci-fi movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” France’s biggest-budgeted production ever.

The deal with Fundamental’s FF Motion Invest, which still has to be approved by regulatory authorities, will be presented at an extraordinary shareholders meeting at EuropaCorp before year’s end. If approved, the pact will give Fundamental Films a voting seat and one observer seat on EuropaCorp’s board of directors.

Besson’s holding company Front Line remains the majority shareholder with a 31.58% stake in the company.

“This capital increase will enhance EuropaCorp’s ability to produce and distribute English-language films and TV series around the world. We are delighted to further strengthen our close links with Fundamental Films and the booming Chinese market,” Besson said. “After their significant investment in our film ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,’ this agreement reflects their confidence in both our company and our global strategy.”

“We are delighted to become the second largest shareholder in EuropaCorp and strengthen our relationship with Luc Besson’s studio,” added Gao. “We are extremely confident in their ability to achieve its strategic goals and enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with it in this new phase of its development.”

One of Europe’s leading film studios, EuropaCorp runs production, theatrical distribution, video and VOD, and French TV sales, as well as exhibition through its multiplex in Aéroville launched in 2013.

EuropaCorp has direct distribution operations in the U.S. via its joint venture with Relativity Media, RED.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’

    Director Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’ and His Bulgarian Trilogy

    Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev earned critical acclaim for his 2017 feature “Directions,” which was selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar. The first installment in a planned trilogy about the social inequality and moral ills plaguing both Bulgaria and Europe at large, the film followed six cab drivers over the course of 24 hours as [...]

  • Meryl Streep Best Movie Lines

    HBO Max Lands Steven Soderbergh's Next Film Starring Meryl Streep

    HBO Max has picked up Steven Soderbergh’s next film, the comedy “Let Them All Talk” starring Meryl Streep. Joining Streep in the ensemble cast are Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest, Lucas Hedges and Gemma Chan. The screenplay was written by short story author and MacArthur Fellow recipient Deborah Eisenberg. It’s the story of a celebrated author [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen FYSEE Opening Night with

    Bruce Springsteen Drops Introspective Trailer for 'Western Stars' Film

    While initial reports about Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming documentary around his recent “Western Stars” album said that it would essentially be a concert film, the first trailer for it, which dropped today, suggests it’s going to be a more introspective outing, more in line with his autobiographical performances at “Springsteen on Broadway” in 2017 and 2018, [...]

  • Phyllis Nagy

    Writers Guild Presidential Candidate Phyllis Nagy Blasts Strategy on Agencies

    Phyllis Nagy, who is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s president David Goodman, has warned of dire consequences from the current stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy, who announced her candidacy on July 22 as the head of Writers for Negotiation, is running on a platform that the WGA needs to get back to [...]

  • Chris Pine to Play Nixon Attorney

    Chris Pine to Play Nixon Lawyer John Dean in Amazon Studios Feature Pitch (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has nabbed a feature pitch with “Wonder Woman” star Chris Pine attached to play John Dean, a pivotal figure in the Watergate scandal. The film will follow the life and political saga of Dean, who served as White House counsel for President Richard Nixon from July 1970 through April 1973. Amazon bought the [...]

  • 'Bombay Rose,' Venice Premiere, Debuts Trailer

    'Bombay Rose,' Venice Film Festival Premiere, Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for animated film “Bombay Rose,” which will have its world premiere opening Venice Critics’ Week on Aug. 28. The film, written and directed by Gitanjali Rao, will also play in the Contemporary World Cinema strand at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 7. “Bombay Rose” is [...]

  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu speaks during a

    Alejandro G. Inarritu on the Need to Preserve Poetry in Cinema

    Alejandro G. Iñárritu is urging the film industry to guard against the influence of television storytelling in cinema, a looming crisis he said could strip film of the beauty and poetry that make it a unique artistic form of expression. Attending the Sarajevo Film Festival to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award, the Oscar-winning [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content