According to local reports,Cecchi Gori could soon enter into a new partnership with Medusa, Italy'sleading film producer and distributor.

The Cecchi Gori Group willhold a board meeting on February 4, Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Orereported. Its agenda is expected to include discussing a partnership proposalwhich was put forward by "a leading film and communications company,"the newspaper said, quoting unconfirmed sources.

The troubled Cecchi GoriGroup has in the past partnered with Medusa to distribute several films on itsslate. These included the comedies Pinocchio by Roberto Benigni, MyName Is Tanino by Paolo Virzi and In Questo Mondo Di Ladri by CarloVanzina.

Il Sole 24 Ore suggests that the Cecchi Gori Group could nowfurther consolidate and expand its relationship with Medusa, which is owned bySilvio Berlusconi's Fininvest.

The Cecchi Gori boardmeeting will come on the back of Vittorio Cecchi Gori's recent victory in alegal battle against Merril Lynch. A Rome court ordered the US bank to returnEuros 160m to the producer.

Merrill Lynch had seized themoney from Cecchi Gori's holding company, Fin.Ma.Vi, to pay back creditors, ina case that dates back to the producer's ownership of Italian broadcasterTelemontecarlo (TMC), which was later acquired by Telecom Italia.

On learning of his courtvictory last month, a triumphant Cecchi Gori said he now hoped to develop hisoperations in London and New York.