EuropaCorp shuts down its distribution business
by Fabien Lemercier
- Luc Besson’s company continues to streamline its operations by entering into an agreement with Pathé, which will distribute future productions and those already in the pipeline until 2021
Restructuring efforts continue for EuropaCorp, forced to trim its sails in response to a difficult financial situation (losses of €119 million in December 2017 and €82.5 million in July 2018 and an estimated debt of €236 million, with an annual turnover of €223.7 million). Having given up its multiplex operations at the end of 2016, sold its French and European TV production units at the end of 2017, embarked on a plan to axe 22 jobs in January last year and entered ongoing negotiations with Gaumont for the sale of the Roissy Films back catalogue (comprising over 500 titles), EuropaCorp, headed up by Luc Besson, is now set to shut down its French cinema distribution business. An exclusive three-year partnership agreement has been signed with Pathé, which will distribute three EuropaCorp films per year between 2019 and 2021. The arrangement starts next year with English-language film Anna, directed by Luc Besson himself (with a cast including Sasha Luss, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy and Helen Mirren) and Nous finirons ensemble, by Guillaume Canet (read our article).
As it refocuses on production and particularly English-language TV series, the company, which for the time being has retained its international sales division, is still searching for a new strategic partner — the source of various rumours over the past few months. Currently, the majority of shares are held by Luc Besson (31.5%) and China’s Fundamental Films (27.9%).
(Translated from French)
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