Dutch-French merger creates Euro Media Group

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BRUSSELS -- The Dutch UBF Media Group and Paris-based EuroMedia Television said Friday they had finalized their merger to create one of the largest television and film services in Europe: 1,300 employees, 78 studios, and an estimated turnover of €300 million ($424.3 million).

The new company, headquartered in the Paris suburb of Bry-sur-Marne, will be known as Euro Media Group (EMG), and will have studios, post-production houses and outside broadcast vehicles in five countries. It has €150 million in equity ($212.2 million), a net financial debt of about €55 million ($77.8 million) and should realize annual earnings after tax and deductions of about €50 million ($70.1 million).

EMG's nine companies include Cinevideogroup and United Broadcast Facilities in the Netherlands, CTV Outside Broadcasts in the U.K., Videohouse in Belgium, Germany's NOB Studios, French companies Euro Media, SFP, rental company Tatou and sports production firm VCF and Swiss long distance transmission systems company Livetools Technology.

Euro Media Television founder Jean-Pierre Barry will run EMG as chief executive and sit on a board with CTV Outside Broadcasts founder and managing director Barry Johnstone, Euro Media Television co-founder Luc Geoffroy and UBF chief financial officer Gaston van de Poel.

The merged group will have 16 high definition/standard definition outside broadcast (HD/SD OB) trucks, 29 SD vehicles, 78 studios, 93 post-production facilities, and 114 electronic news gathering (ENG) units.

The merger ensures the resources and the accompanying expertise will be shared across the group, with the added financial stability to increase investment to create a solid platform for international expansion, Johnstone said. "All the components are in place to create a formidable facilities group that will be able to take on the biggest productions in Europe and beyond," he said.

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