After looking for a white knight in vain for more than a year, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has been granted a six-month debt waiver from a French commercial court, which gives the financially struggling banner a brief reprieve.
“The board and the management of EuropaCorp considered that the safeguard proceeding would enable the negotiation of terms of a financial stabilization of the company via the restructuring of its debt and equity, while continuing its activity in peace,” said EuropaCorp in a release.
The company said it was pursuing negotiations with its lenders and other potential investors. Trading of the company’s shares on the Paris stock market, which was suspended May 6 after market closing, resumed Tuesday.
EuropaCorp, whose library includes successful franchises such as “Taken,” “Taxi” and “Transporter,” has a debt load of about €230 million ($270 million).
The company has already taken drastic steps within the last couple years to cut costs. It sold off its French TV production unit and announced its intention to lay off 22 employees in its French office in the next two years. It also stopped direct distribution of its films in France. During the next six months, EuropaCorp will be taking more measures to cut overhead.
Besson’s next directorial effort, “Anna,” a thriller starring Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy and Luke Evans, will be released by Pathé in France. The previous movie that Besson directed, the $180 million “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” grossed $225.8 million worldwide.