Luc Besson's EuropaCorp Placed Under Court Protection in France
The beleaguered company has six months to restructure its debt.
Luc Besson's EuropaCorp has been given a six-month reprieve to restructure its debt, after being placed under court protection in France.
“The board and the management of EuropaCorp considered that the safeguard proceeding would enable the negotiation of the terms of a financial stabilization of the company via the restructuring of its debt and equity, while continuing its activity,” the company said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The opened safeguard proceeding includes all company liabilities and not only financial debt,” it continued. “In due time, the company will inform the market of the outcome of the negotiations it intends to continue with the lenders and other potential investors.”
The judgment follows EuropaCorp delisting its stock last week as it sought protection from the court. The stock was relisted Tuesday, but fell 32 percent in trading, closing at 0.67 cents on the Paris stock exchange.
Besson's company has been bleeding money since the disappointment of his $180 million sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The company posted a loss of $93.4 million last July.
It's submarine thriller Kursk also sank at the box office, failing to find a U.S. buyer and bringing in only $700,000 at the French box office.
The company has already sold off several of its assets in an effort to cut its debt load, including its French TV division for $13 million. In March, Besson sold off his Roissy Films catalogue to Gaumont in order to refocus on the core business of production. The company cut back on its English-language slate from 10 projects to just two or three per year. It currently has no films in production.
Anna — starring Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy and Luke Evans — was held as rape allegations against Besson were investigated. After the charges were dropped, the film was reslated and will be released by Lionsgate on June 21.