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EuropaCorp sells 28% stake to Chinese firm

Scripted-logo-460_2Taken-textless-key-artLuc Besson’s EuropaCorp has sold more than a quarter of its shares to Chinese production and distribution company Fundamental Films.

The US$67 million hands Fundamental a 27.9% stake in the France-based film and television production company through subsidiary FF Motion Invest.

Besson’s holding company, Front Line, will remain EuropaCorp’s main shareholder with a 31.6%, diluted from the previous 43.8%.

EuropaCorp and Fundamental have a pre-existing film coproduction agreement, which has led to movies such as Lucy, The Transporter trilogy and Taken, with the latter also taking a large equity stake in Besson’s big-budget Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

Both companies’ shareholders are expected to greenlight the new deal.

“This capital increase will enhance EuropaCorp’s ability to produce and distribute English-language films and TV series around the world. We are delighted to further strengthen our close links with Fundamental Films and the booming Chinese market,” said Besson.

“After their significant investment in our film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ this agreement reflects their confidence in both our company and our global strategy.”

“We are delighted to become the second largest shareholder in EuropaCorp and strengthen our relationship with Luc Besson’s studio,” added Mark Gao, who runs Fundamental.

“We are extremely confident in their ability to achieve its strategic goals and enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with it in this new phase of its development.”

EuropaCorp Television produces the Transporter TV series for M6 in France and RTL in Germany, the NBC Taken adaptation (pictured), and upcoming Canal+ thriller Section Zero.