DQE, Method pact for 'Little Prince'

Co-prod has budget of $23.3 million

NEW DELHI -- India's DQ Entertainment is teaming with France's Method Animation for a 3-D animated TV series based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery's beloved "The Little Prince" books.

The series will have a budget of about $23.3 million, of which DQE said it will "receive direct co-production service cash revenues of €7.13 million ($9.2 million)" to deliver specialized CGI work, with a part of the production farmed out in Europe as well.

Production partners include France 3, LLPTV France, WDR Germany, Sony BMG and RAI Italy.

DQE, which listed on London's Alternative Investment Market in 2007 to raise about $60 million, also will have additional global backend rights to "Prince."

In 2006, DQE bought a 20% equity stake for about $3.2 million in Method Films as part of a joint venture with French production company Onyx Films. Onyx co-founder Aton Soumache also is CEO of Method.

Among its recent projects, DQE announced its homegrown animation series "The Jungle Book" (based on the Rudyard Kipling original), for which DQE said it had earmarked a budget of $11.9 million for the first season.

DQE's clients include Walt Disney Television Animation, American Greetings, Marvel, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Electronics Arts Worldwide, Sony, NBC-Universal and the BBC among others.