Italian Entertainment Group (IEG), the holding company of Italy’s Cinecitta Studios has taken a 40 percent share of Italian advertising, production and events company Filmmaster Group as part of the studio’s expansion in the international marketplace.

The strategic alliance has been formalized after the two groups worked together on a trial period for over two years, Luigi Abete, President of IEG and Cinecitta Studios and Sergio Castellani, Filmaster’s president and CEO said in a Rome news conference Thursday.

Filmmaster will be a fundamental partner to Cinecitta on several levels, and one result of the fusion is the creation of a content factory to include production content spanning commercials, TV dramas and feature films.

Headquartered in Rome and Milan with representations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bankok and Los Angeles, Filmmaster, via their own K-Events brand, has produced big events such as the Torino Olympic games opening ceremony.

They will play a central role in the growth of Cinecitta’s theme park, Cinecitta World, which is expected to have a total investment of $660 million (Euros 500 mil) and to open in three-year’s time, with Filmmaster on board to produce live “cirque du soleil” style shows for the park, which will also travel. The name of the first show, announced today, will be The Last Judgment and is inspired by the Michelangelo painting of the same name.

Medium term plans for the group include obtaining a listing on the stock market in three years. “We think that a big Italian Entertainment group should be open to the market,” Abete said.

“The alliance with the Filmmaster Group is an essential step towards completing and consolidating a creative leadership with respect to Cinema’s worldwide creativity. It is an objective but also a prerequisite for further growth,” he added.

The former state run Cinecitta Studios was privatized in 1997. Other recent growth measures of Cinecitta have included an in-the-works $200 million (Euros 150 mil) upgrade to include a new sound stage, hotel and wellness center for visiting productions.

Major shareholders of IEG include Luigi Abete, Tod’s shoe manufacturers Diego and Andrea Della Valle, Filmauro owner and producer Aurelio De Laurentiis and the Haggiag family. Filmmaster, as part of the agreement, has taken a 4 percent stake in IEG capitols