Ailing French production house Euripide has been given a new lease on life as part of Vision Group's expansion plans.

The company, which had been on the brink of bankruptcy, has been taken over by the Vision group run by Dominique Macline of Mediavision and director Stephane Loison, according to French daily Les Echos. The idea behind the takeover is to construct an audiovisual group with major interests in cinema.

Having started as record label Erato under the stewardship of the late Daniel Toscan du Plantier, a film production and acquisition arm was added and the company re-baptised Euripide.

Along with partner Frederic Sichler (now at StudioCanal) Toscan produced Sous Le Soleil De Satan, Van Gogh, La Dilettante and Tosca under the Euripide banner. In 2002 the company was forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

Vision, which will release 10 films this year and a further 20 in 2004, will now take over Euripide's catalogue and its six-person team.

Stepping up its business in all sectors of film, Vision will become a player in the sales sector via a deal with former TF1 acquisitions head Max Saidel. It has also created a video publishing subsidiary

In terms of production, Vision has Pierre Schoendoerffer's La-Haut on deck and French-Spanish animated film Le Mercenaire. The company also reportedly plans to get involved in co-productions with other French producers and is seeking capital via a partnership with companies outside France.