Former Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure has announced the launch of a new film production and distribution company as well as a London-based capital development outfit.

According to reports in the French media, his production outfit is called AnnaRose and is named after his young daughter. Two film projects are being readied, although Lescure said it would take time to get them off the ground due to difficulties raising financing and continuing script polishing. Both are co-productions.

The capital development company he has set up, WNS, will work across all media from books, television, radio and music publishing and has representatives in the UK and Spain.

Lescure was abruptly ousted as chairman of Canal Plus in April 2002 during the last days of former Vivendi Universal chief Jean-Marie Messier's tumultuous tenure.

Since then Lescure has kept a low profile and has made only few public appearances, including as president of the jury at the 2002 Deauville Festival of American Film and again in 2003 at Deauville to honor HBO Films president Colin Callendar.

He is currently preparing a game show about film for terrestrial channel France 5 which will be called 24 ' and will begin airing next Wednesday.