Despite current market instability, Pathe's Jerome Seydoux is looking to the future. In an interview with yesterday's Financial Times, the Pathe chariman said he was eager that his company go public in the next 18 months.

Pathe is an entertainment giant in France with interests in film production, distribution, exhibition, video and television. The cinema circuit, which merged two years ago with the Gaumont chain of theatres owned by Seydoux's brother Nicolas, is the most successful in Europe.

Pathe's French production is assured by Pathe Renn Productions, under uber-producer Claude Berri whose recent hits include Asterix And Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. Pathe also has film production and video interests in the UK. TV interests include several local cable channels including the successful Comedie!. Via TMC, Pathe will also enter the digital playing field in 2004.

Seydoux also voiced his ambitions as a potential buyer of beleagured French paybox Canal Plus. Although he denied the company was currently in negotiations, as Canal for the moment is not on the block, he did note that floating Pathe's entertainment concerns would raise cash for future acquisitions.

In 2001, Pathe had revenues of Euros 570m with a growth in EBITDA of 24% and a net result of Euro 13m