UGC International and TF1 International are planning a merger, ScreenDaily has learned.

The two companies are in discussions to fuse, creating a dedicated distribution entity on one side and a dedicated international sales arm on the other.

It is still early stages, but should the deal receive a green light from the competition authorities, each company would be a shareholder in the other with UGC handling distribution of its own and TF1’s films while TF1 would sell UGC productions as well as its own acquisitions. The move allows the companies to increase their activities while sharing risk. TF1’s distribution arm, TFM, would cease its theatrical distribution activity.

No details were available regarding any personnel changes but given that TF1 International chief Patrick Binet was at the helm of UGC International before moving to TF1, the deal has a natural sense to it. For quite a while, the industry has speculated that TF1 International would be sold off with Tarak Ben Ammar often rumored to be the buyer. That no longer appears to be the case, according to ScreenDaily’s information.

TF1 International is selling new films here by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Tony Gatlif, while UGC has projects by James Huth and Alain Corneau.