Ben Ammar grabs stake in Italian ani house


ROME -- Cinema powerbroker Tarak Ben Ammar has taken a minor stake in Italian animation house Rainbow, sources close to the Franco-Tunisian producer said Monday in confirming local media reports.

Ben Ammar has reportedly taken a 2% stake in Rainbow, the company created to co-produce the highly anticipated big-screen debut of the children's television series "Winx Club."

The deal is sure to be a boost for Rainbow as it prepares to hold the IPO it received approval for in August.

It also comes as Ben Ammar is reportedly on the verge of closing on a deal to take control of Eagle Pictures.

Ben Ammar, the director of France's Quinta Communications, is no newcomer to Italy. An adviser to media tycoon and three-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, he holds a board seat at the investment bank Mediobanca and is a leading shareholder of television content producer Lux Vide.

Ben Ammar also is on the board of the Weinstein Co. and an adviser to News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch.

The deal will reportedly be closed by the end of November.