Confirming rumors that have been rumbling in industry circles for some time, French sales, distribution and financing outfit Wild Bunch has taken a stake in Italy 's Bim Distribuzione. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The move reinforces Wild Bunch's ambition to be present in distribution over multiple European territories. Wild Bunch already has a partnership with A-Film for the Benelux region.

Going forward, Bim and Wild Bunch will work together to acquire and co-produce films on a case-by-case basis.

Bim chief Valerio de Paolis will remain at the head of his company and be responsible for all Italian activities while hewing closely to the strategy and policies of Wild Bunch.

Wild Bunch principal Brahim Chioua told that Wild Bunch would notably offer Bim projects that fall under its Virtual Films and Continental Films funds, but rather than structuring the new investment as a straight output deal, the two companies will collaborate in deciding whether or not there is a fit for each specific project.

Chioua said de Paolis 'is one of the best buyers in the world in terms of his knowledge of his own market but also for his taste in film. When he says we should look at a film, we do. And, when we are evaluating a project we ask him what he thinks for his and other territories.'

Bim's upcoming releases include Ken Loach's It's A Free World, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth, Fatih Akin's The Edge of Heaven, Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary Shine A Light, Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, France's Oscar entry Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, Sean Penn's Into The Wild and James Gray's We Own the Night, which Wild Bunch is distributing in France.