Besson to float film company


NEW YORK -- Movie production firm EuropaCorp, controlled by French film director Luc Besson, plans to go public via an initial public offering in Paris.

The company, which said it has produced or co-produced 45 movies since 1999 and has eight projects in the works, said Wednesday in France that it has filed for a stock listing on the Euronext Paris market.

Its films include titles like "Transporter 2." Besson, best known as the director of "The Fifth Element," controls EuropaCorp. via holding company Front Line.

The company's current slate of eight movies that are either being shot or in postproduction includes "Taken," directed by Pierre Morel and starring Liam Neeson, according to Reuters. Besson also is planning a third "Transporter" movie starring Jason Statham and other projects, it said.

The company didn't immediately specify how many shares it plans to float and at what price. According to Reuters, Besson might continue to own a majority stake in EuropaCorp. after the IPO.

In its latest fiscal year, which ended March 31, EuropaCorp. brought in a profit of €8 million on revenue of €159 million.

The company Wednesday touted its status as a vertically integrated studio, saying this allows it to impose its work and quality standards on all productions.

It also highlighted its focus on taking a high profile in international markets, citing "Danny the Dog," "Transporter 2" and animated film "Arthur and the Invisibles" as examples of its success abroad.