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French media conglomerate Mediawan has acquired the French TV division of Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, and also has entered into exclusive talks to take stakes in two additional production companies.
The company was set up as an investment vehicle to acquire European media and entertainment businesses. It was founded by French media veterans Pierre-Antoine Capton (who also founded 3e Oeil Productions in 2002) and Le Monde newspaper and L’Obs magazine owners Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse.
Mediawan is also in talks to acquire scripted production houses Makever and Mon Voisin Productions, deals it expects to close by the end of the first quarter.
It will hold 80 percent share of EuropaCorp TV, 77 percent of Makever and 60 percent of Mon Voisin Productions.
“We will become the number one producer of fiction in volume in France for primetime,” said CEO Capton. Since its launch, Mediawan has set out to build itself into the European leader in premium content.
The group raised €250 million ($310 million) in its April 2016 IPO.
EuropaCorp announced the sale of its French TV division in November, when it offloaded the stake to then-division president Thomas Anargyros for $13 million in an effort to shore up its finances after the global disappointment of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The company will be renamed Storia TV.
The acquisitions of Makever and Mon Voisin are said to total between $37 million and $50 million.
EuropaCorp — now Storia — was behind hits such as Taxi Brooklyn. Makever was founded in 2002 by Stephane Drouet and Matthieu Viala and is behind the comedy Kaboul Kitchen, and Mon Voisin was launched in 2008 by Dominique Besnehard and Michel Feller and is behind the international hit Call My Agent.
The companies will retain their leadership under Mediawan.
“More than being a leader in fiction, what is important for us is to be able to work with the talents of each of its companies,” said Capton.
Mediawan is fast building the largest portfolio of French production houses after acquiring the AB Groupe last January for $270 million. It also acquired documentary producer CC & C in July 2016 and animation house ON Kids & Family last September.
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