×

Pathé in Talks to Acquire Stake in EuropaCorp

Pathé, France’s most successful independent distribution outfit, is in discussions to acquire a stake in Luc Besson’s financially ailing EuropaCorp, which confirmed the negotiations Wednesday. The two companies have already been collaborating on domestic distribution of EuropaCorp movies in France.

“The group Pathé has expressed interest in a potential stake acquisition in the capital of the company,” EuropaCorp said in a statement. “This expression of interest, non-binding, is subject to the realization of several conditions precedent, in particular an agreement on the restructuring of the existing debts of the group.”

French financial publication Les Echos, which was the first to report the talks, said that Pathé was interested in a majority stake in EuropaCorp, but neither company would confirm that to be the case.

EuropaCorp, whose library includes successful franchises such as “Taken,” “Taxi” and “Transporter,” has a debt load of about €230 million ($270 million) and has been looking for a white knight for some time. It previously had unfruitful discussions with several companies such as Netflix, according to several sources, and on Wednesday it warned that a deal with Pathé was by no means guaranteed.

“To date, as several essential conditions are not met – in particular the consent from the senior and junior lenders – the company cannot assure that this proposal will come to a successful conclusion, nor give any precision on the schedule or structuring of the potential transaction resulting from the current discussions,” EuropaCorp said.

Earlier this month, the company was granted a six-month debt waiver from a French commercial court to give it more time to stabilize its finances. “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,” EuropaCorp said.

Last December, the company signed a distribution deal with Pathé for the latter to handle the French release of three EuropaCorp movies per year over the next three years, notably “Little White Lies 2” and Besson’s “Anna.” However, EuropaCorp currently has no films in production. Last year, Pathé distributed France’s top two local movies, “The Magic Tuche” and “La ch’tite famille.”

In further steps to cut its overhead and reduce its debt, EuropaCorp sold the Roissy Films library, which includes more than 500 titles and 80 award-winning films, to Gaumont. The company also sold its French TV production unit for €11 million, and it announced that it would be laying off 22 employees in its Paris office within the next two years.

More Film

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • The Lion King

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Roars Overseas With Mighty $269 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” certainly felt the love this weekend, generating $269 million at the international box office. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the classic Disney cartoon now holds the eighth-biggest debut of all time overseas, even with China opening last weekend. Combined with a stellar $185 million start in North America, “The Lion King” [...]

  • Scarlett JohanssonMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Scarlett Johansson Reveals What We'll Learn About Black Widow in Stand-Alone Movie

    Scarlett Johansson can finally talk about her upcoming “Black Widow” movie. While she can’t divulge spoilers, she let out a big sigh of relief after the film was officially announced on Saturday during the Marvel Studios presentation at Comic-Con. “I feel like a weight has been lifted,” the Oscar nominee told Variety. “Black Widow” is [...]

  • The Lion King Box Office

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Rules With $185 Million Debut

    Simba and Mufasa reigned supreme this weekend as Disney’s “The Lion King” dominated box office charts. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the animated classic collected a massive $185 million from 4,756 North American theaters during its first three days of release. In yet another win for Disney, the movie landed the best domestic launch for [...]

  • Creative-Producers-Indaba-Cover-Image-1920x1080-px-2

    Realness, EAVE, IFFR, Sundance Launch African Producers Network

    DURBAN–South Africa’s Realness Institute, EAVE, the Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Sundance Institute are joining forces to create the Creative Producers Indaba, a professional training program designed to support emerging African producers. Inspired by initiatives such as the EAVE Producers Workshop and Sundance’s Creative Producing, the program will bring together 15 participants to develop [...]

  • BOTM-Eve-Viper-Gang

    Director Angus Gibson: My Audience is ‘Young, Black South Africans’

    DURBAN–Sophiatown, 1958. On the outskirts of Johannesburg, as the apartheid police prepare to demolish the community at the heart of black South African cultural and intellectual life, a notorious gang leader is determined to make a last stand. Resisting the forced evictions that will transport the residents of Sophiatown to a desolate township miles away, [...]

  • marvel

    Marvel Phase 4 Plan Revealed, But Comic-Con’s Big Winner is Disney Plus

    In a triumphant return to the San Diego Comic-Con main stage, leadership at Marvel Studios managed some splashy surprises and showed off risky creative bets for the next two years of content coming from the superhero operation. But the biggest takeaway from the Saturday presentation inside Hall H was how important Marvel will make Disney [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content