Pan-European media giant RTL Group has sold its French distribution offshoot SND to French broadcaster M6, in which the Luxembourg-based group already holds a major stake.
Eric Marti, who founded SND in 1997, is to be replaced by Thierry Desmichelles. Marti sold the company to RTL Group in 1998, keeping a minority stake, and has been running the distribution outfit since then.
Desmichelles was previously deputy general manager in charge of film at M6 Interactions. He has already partnered with SND in this capacity, co-acquiring rights to such films as Martin Scorsese's $100m Gangs Of New York.
Since Germany's media giant Bertelsmann acquired a controlling stake in RTL Group (previously known as Clt-Ufa), the company has re-focussed on its core activity as one of Europe's leading free-TV broadcasters.
The film financing, distribution and sales businesses, which used to be handled through Clt-Ufa International and included a fledgling European distribution network, are being re-directed to RTL Group's local broadcasting operations. These include M6 in France, RTL TVI in Benelux and RTL Plus in Germany.
Upcoming SND titles include Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles, to be released June 27; and The Wedding Planner and Heartbreaker, which open in July and September, respectively.