Following weeks of speculation, ailing French distributor Bac Majestic has seen French animation studio Millimages come to its financial rescue.
Filen, the company personally owned by Millimages president Roch Lener, will pump Euros 3m into the company and will thus change the shareholding structure of Bac. A meeting of Bac's board today approved the deal.
Filen will now hold a 51% stake while founder Labadie will drop his interests down to 25% from the current 56.6%. Bac will be publicly held to the tune of 24%.
Filen's involvement is only temporary, however ,as the structure of the deal says that Millimages can be substituted for it at any time. This is likely to happen in the near future, but as a way for the deal to move forward quickly Lener decided to invest in his own name.
Bac has been suffering over the past two years thanks to the dissolution of an exclusive output deal with Miramax, a break with investor StudioCanal, unsuccessful bids to move into exhibition and a downturn in the market. Recently Bac offloaded its remaining money losing movie theatres and will, according to a Bac press release, attempt to renegotiate its debt with StudioCanal.
A general assembly meeting will be held in February to ratify the deal.