Toronto-based Comweb Corporation has joined as an equity partner in a new company that will control Toronto's FILMPORT studio project. The new entity, Filmport Inc, will also own Toronto Film Studios (TFS) and other FILMPORT properties. Principal shareholders will be Comweb, merchant bank The Rose Corporation and a company owned by TFS president Ken Ferguson.

In all, the management will invest $30m in the venture. Ferguson will be the president of Filmport Inc.

Said Ferguson in a statement: 'FILMPORT is now a well-capitalized and well-financed project led by a board of directors with expertise in both real estate development and film and television production.'

He said the addition of Comweb chairman and CEO Paul Bronfman to the board of directors would be a significant boost to the project's stature.

Comweb controls William F. White International Inc., one of the worlds largest production support companies. It is a major shareholder in Budapest-based Sparks Camera and Lighting Inc., a company based in Budapest, a leading production support provider to Western and Eastern European producers. Comweb also has an allied production company, Comweb Productions.

Phase 1 of the FILMPORT complex will comprise production offices and seven large sound stages including the largest purpose-build sound stage in North America. It's slated to be operational by the first quarter of 2008.