Six months of additional bail for Europacorp. The procedure for safeguarding the Luc Besson company, in great financial difficulty, was extended by six months to restructure the group's debts, the company announced Wednesday (October 30th). “The Commercial Court of Bobigny extended the period of observation of the procedure of safeguard” of the company of production and distribution of films and series “for a duration of six months,” said the company in a statement.
EuropaCorp has been in the process of safeguarding since mid-May, for an initial period of six months. This lengthening of the observation period will “in particular make it possible to finalize ongoing discussions with creditors, relating to the draft safeguard plan,” he continues. At September 30, 2018, the company's net debt amounted to 222 million euros, according to the group's annual report, with maturities in October 2019 for the senior debt and April 2020 for the subordinated debt.
⋙ © All Rights Reserved Luc Besson receives a remuneration of 5.9 million euros despite the setbacks of Europacorp
One of the creditors, the US investment fund Vine, has expressed interest in a possible acquisition of equity in the company, announced in July EuropaCorp. Discussions then focused on “the modalities of this possible operation and the group's financing for the future”. However an “agreement with senior lenders” and “the presentation of a backup plan at the Commercial Court of Bobigny” were prerequisites for a possible operation, he said.
Asked Wednesday whether these discussions were still relevant, a head of Europacorp said that the company did not consider “not useful to communicate” more. The company created in 1999 by Luc Besson has experienced in 2018-2019 a fourth consecutive year in the red, showing losses of 109.9 million euros between March 2018 and March 2019. More than the 82 million losses recorded in the previous financial year.
⋙ © All Rights Reserved After Pathé, an American fund interested in EuropaCorp
After several asset disposals – notably its multiplexes (Aeroville cinemas in Tremblay-en-France and La Joliette in Marseille) to the Gaumont-Pathé group in 2016, or its television production division in Mediawan in 2018 – and redundancies (22 jobs out of 79 in France in 2018), EuropaCorp remains essentially its catalog and its ability to produce other films.