Switzerland's Philippe Gaydoul enters film biz
EXCLUSIVE: Billionaire buys 30% stake in Lailaps PicturesZURICH -- Philippe Gaydoul, one of Switzerland's richest men, is getting into the film business.
The former boss of Swiss discounter Denner AG and owner of luxury-brands group Gaydoul Holding has taken a 30% stake in Lailaps Pictures, a production company owned by German producer Nils Dunker and Swiss actor Anatole Taubman.
Gaydoul will provide development cash and equity financing for Lailaps' planned slate of mid-budget feature films.
For the billionaire, the investment is a labor of love. Film was the secret hobby of Swiss industrialist Karl Schweri, Gaydoul's maternal grandfather and the man who gave him his start in business. Schweri was a co-financier on Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver."
With Gaydoul's backing, Lailaps plan to produce English-language features in the $5 million-$15 million range.
"We're looking to do projects for a broad audience across all genres but films that can be refinanced out of Europe," Dunker said. "We are acquiring rights and plan to put around 15 projects into development starting next year."
Dunker said Lailaps will tap Taubman's international network of contacts. The actor is a regular supporting player in tentpole features and high-end TV productions; his recent credits include "Quantum of Solace," Marvel's upcoming "Captain America: The First Avenger," Showtime's "The Tudors" and "The Pillars of the Earth," a miniseries that aired on Starz.