Six Catalan media firms have merged to create a single holding company with plans to forge a new mini-studio in Barcelona.

The partners are further understood to be negotiating an agreement with a major European group which could facilitate international distribution of the as-yet unnamed holding's content.

Distribution is the least-developed business area across the six companies, which include the Institut del Cinema Catalan (ICC), La Truka, In Vitro Films, Centre Promotor de la Imatge, Tiburon TV and Lunatus Comunicacio Audiovisual. Their core activities span film and TV production, post-production, effects, studio management and special events planning and production.

Joan Antoni Gonzalez, managing director of lead partner ICC, envisions a studio-like set-up offering participating companies a stable financial structure within which to develop, produce and commercialise contents, "while maintaining their brand names, autonomy and, above all, talent." The partners do not discount the future incorporation of additional companies and investors, nor an eventual stock flotation, he added.

Production plans initially encompass an annual four feature film co-productions in the average Euros 6m range, 12 TV movies in the average Euros 1m range, at least one 12-episode series and one animated series for TV, and three 90-minute documentaries potentially for theatrical release.

ICC is already co-producing, among others: pan-European feature film Mathilde, starring Jeremy Irons and currently shooting in Croatia; Spanish-language TV movie Carvalho starring Juanjo Puigcorbe, which began shooting Monday in Spain; animated series Paris-Peking; and Italian co-productions Sisi: Emperatrice Of The Heart and Nostradamus, miniseries set to shoot in June and October respectively.