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EuropaCorp Takes Steps Toward Layoffs

Plan envisages loss of 22 jobs in France

EuropaCorp, Luc Besson’s financially struggling film company, has taken steps to launch a layoff plan that would see 22 jobs axed from its operations in France.

The Paris-headquartered company filed a procedure Jan. 11 to begin consulting employee councils about a plan to “put in place a new organization in France,” the company said Monday. After eliminating 22 jobs, the plan would leave EuropaCorp with 57 employees in the country.

“This staffing would reflect the needs of the company to carry on its strategy and focus on its core activities,” the company said in a release.

Listed on the Paris stock exchange, EuropaCorp posted record losses of $135 million during the last financial year and had vowed last fall to scale back its ambitions following the disappointing performance of “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” along with a string of English-language films (“Shut In,” “The Circle,” and “Miss Sloane,” among others) that all failed to ignite at the U.S. box office.

Former EuropaCorp CEO Marc Shmuger, who exited the company at the end of 2017, had told Variety in September that the company’s strategy for climbing out of the red did not involve a layoff plan. Along with Shmuger, several high-level executives have left the company within the last several months, notably Edouard de Vesinne, the former deputy CEO of the company. Besson is serving as interim CEO.

EuropaCorp also recently sold its French TV production unit for an estimated €11 million ($13.5 million). The company now aims to focus on two to three English-language, modestly budgeted action or thriller movies, and about two French movies per year.

EuropaCorp has not given further details on the divisions that will be most impacted by the eventual layoff plan.

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