Luc Bessons embattled EuropaCorp has reportedly spurned an acquisition offer from French giant Pathé, turning instead to U.S.-based Vine Alternative Investments. According to French weekly paper Le Journal du Dimanche, a rescue deal between Europa and Vine was hatched on July 3 in the office of the French judicial administrator. Details are scarce and any accord would still need to be validated by the Commercial Court of Bobigny which in May granted Europa a six-month debt waiver to give it time to balance the books. As of March 31, the companys net debt stood at $181M. Deadline has reached out for comment.
Vine and Europa have existing ties under a credit line provided by the former. A recovery plan has yet to be revealed, although local media has speculated that Vine could convert Europas debt into capital shares and that the asset manager would appear sufficiently solid to satisfy lenders.
Vine, which bought a controlling interest in Village Roadshow in 2017, was founded in 2006 and has already committed more than $700M to investments in assets backed by major motion pictures, television and other media and entertainment content. Earlier this year, Vine raised another $600M.
As of late May, EuropaCorp was still in talks with other buyers including Pathé which was looking to take a majority stake in the mini-studio as well as potentially providing a cash infusion. Besson and his holding company FrontLine own 38% of Europa while Chinese investors own 28% after a $67M investment three years ago.
In June, Deadline reported that Steve Rabineau was leaving WME to partner with Luc and Virginie Besson in the theatrical film and TV series business, under their EuropaCorp label. Besson has been a longtime client and friend of Rabineau, and the goal is to generate three films per year, one of which will be directed by Besson.
Besson is an idea machine with a long track-record of critical and/or commercial hits from The Big Blue to The 5th Element, The Professional, La Femme Nikita, Taken and Lucy. But 2017s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets was a costly misfire. Not helped by misconduct allegations — which Besson denied, and a police investigation dismissed earlier this year — EuropaCorp has been looking for new backing.
In late June, the company posted unflattering Read More – Source