Studiocanal, ACE Extend Financing Deal for Further Two Years

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Under the ongoing agreement, Anton Capital Entertainment will finance 30 percent of the budget of films the media group produces or releases theatrically.

Pan-European media group Studiocanal has extended its slate financing agreement with Anton Capital Entertainment (ACE), set to expire in summer of 2014, through till 2016.

The pioneering agreement, the largest ever for a European financial institution, has ACE financing 30 percent of the budget for films Studiocanal producers or releases theatrically. The French studio also operates production and distribution operations in the U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand. ACE's original three-year commitment was valued at $194 million (€150 million).

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It is unclear how much more the group, the European-based media fund of merchant bank Anton Capital, will invest under the new arrangement.

The deal should further strength Studiocanal as it pushes into the space left open by the major Studios and bankrolls mainstream English-language productions in the $40 million - $50 million range. Titles such as Jaume Collet-Serra's Liam Neeson action vehicle Non-Stop, which has virtually sold out worldwide and will be released through Universal Pictures in the U.S. next year; or horror title The Last Exorcism 2, which CBS Films picked up at the American Film Market last month and which will bow domestically in March.

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Internationally, Studiocanal recently boosted its clout in German-speaking Europe through a new multi-year output deal with Lionsgate that give Studiocanal the rights for the final entries in the Hunger Games franchise.