France’s biggest banking group BNP Paribas has taken a 100% stake in key French film and high-end series financier Cofiloisirs as well as taken control of its consultancy company Cinécapital.
The move follows an agreement between BNP Paribas, which previously held a 46% stake, and Cofiloisirs’s other two former backers, ABN Amro subsidiary Neuflize OBC and UGC.
BNP Paribas said the transaction would strengthen its ability to meet the high demand for content financing in the growing audiovisual market.
It added that it had provided the entire sector with financing to the tune of $293m (€260m) during the pandemic.
Available finance for content production is expected to increase in France, following the overhaul of the country’s media chronology rules combined with the transposition of the European Union’s updated Audiovisual Media Services Services Directive, obliging streamers to devote 20% of their turnover in France to French and European series and films and non-fiction programming.
“The health crisis has accelerated the transformation of image consumption patterns. We are now seeing very strong growth in content production funded by traditional players in the sector but also and increasingly by streaming platforms,” said Henri de Roquemaurel. director of the image and media division at BNP Paribas.
“Becoming a single shareholder of Cofiloisirs, will allow us to truly join forces to meet the challenges of this evolving market dynamic, and strengthen our role in image financing in Europe, especially with regard to series. The recognised expertise, dynamism and level of engagement of the team at Cofiloisirs and Cinécapital, will be perfectly complemented by the in-house expertise BNP Paribas has in this sector.”
Private bank Neuflize OBC put out a separate statement saying it would continue to work with the film and TV sector via a new media and digital pole launched at the beginning of the year and encompassing all the cultural industries.
Cofiloisirs and BNP Paribas have a long and successful track record of working together to finance a raft of features and high-end series including recent films such as Lost illusions and Annette, as well as series including Versailles and Around The World In 80 Days.
Founded in 1973, Cofiloisirs has helped structure finance for more than 3,000 films and series over the last five decades.
In 2021 alone, it supported 170 films and series with a total of €680m in managed loans. Although the bulk of its work is in France where it is based, European productions originating outside of the country now account for 25% of its activity.