Miramax Films has secured the option to acquire a 1.9% stake in Bac Majestic, the holding company of Miramax's regular French distributor Bac Films, ahead of its float.

Sales arm Miramax International has also renewed its distribution pact with Bac Films for three years. Bac, which is to float next month, recently formed a joint venture with StudioCanal to handle distribution on Canal's titles.

"Bac is the leading independent distributor in France," Miramax's chairman, world-wide distribution Rick Sands stated. "[Bac Majestic chairman] Jean Labadie and his team not only have a deep and creative understanding of their market, but also have a total feel for the full range of our product, equally from Miramax and our Dimensions Films division."

Labadie commented: "I am particularly proud of Miramax's continuing commitment to Bac, a confidence which is reflected in Miramax's option to take a small position in Bac's equity."

Upcoming Miramax releases in France include The Yards, through Bac Films, and Hugh Hudson's My Life So Far, through Mars Films.

Jean Labadie - who also aims to step up his company's involvement in Internet-related activities - has previously sold a stake in Bac Majestic to video games specialist Cryo Interactive.

Bac Majestic announced a $56m turnover in 1999, 60% stemming out from distribution activities, 27% from right trading and 12% from exhibition.