Producer entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar has just upped the stakes for his Quinta Communications group by adding troubled French post-production house Duran-Duboi to his list of acquisitions.
The Tunisian-born businessman last year purchased post labs LTC and Ex-Machina in order to create the leader in French sound facilities. The embattled Duran Duboi, which had filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, was struggling under difficult economic conditions and a downturn in the marketplace and was examining a number of offers before deciding on Quinta's.
Ben Ammar told ScreenDaily.com, "Our offer was the only one that continued the activity of the company, the other offers were only buying a piece of the company and they needed somebody to increase the capital but more than that someone who has an international strategy."
Indeed, Quinta and Ben Ammar have been present on the international scene for some time. In his thirty year producing career, Ben Ammar has had a hand in such films as Roman Polanski's Pirates, Monty Python classic Life of Brian, Franco Zeffirelli's La Traviata and most recently the Antonio Banderas starring Ballistic : Ecks vs. Sever. Quinta for its part is partnered with Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset and invests in films on the international level via co-financing and rights buying.
As far as Ben Ammar is concerned "Duran Duboi was number one in digital and effects but didn't have the lab that should go with it. My company via LTC is totally complimentary and will now be able to provide full scale services to French , European and American productions."
Ben Ammar will pour Euros 2.5m into Duran Duboi's coffers. The acquisition should not affect staff levels, which has already been reduced by nearly half since the company's serious troubles began. Upcoming projects include Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement and Alain Chabat's RRRrrr.
Ben Ammar is also currently prepping two new films he will produce. The first reteams him with Brian De Palma on Toyer based on the play by Gardner McKay while the second puts him back together with Franco Zeffirelli for Il Florentine.