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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Euronext Paris  >  EuropaCorp    ECP   FR0010490920

EUROPACORP (ECP)
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EUROPACORP : Acquisition of CIPANGO, television drama producer

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04/16/2010 | 08:45am CET
PR Newswire/Les Echos/

PRESS RELEASE

  · Acquisition of CIPANGO, television drama producer, to strengthen regular
    activities and consolidate EuropaCorp's integrated model

  · The 2009/2010 operating margin is expected to be lower despite anticipated
    significant growth in revenue

  · Main line of credit is renewed for EUR100 million to support investment in
    production

Paris, 15 April 2010 - EUROPACORP (FR0010490920), film production and
distribution company and one of the very first European independent film
studios, announces today a new key strategic phase with the acquisition of
CIPANGO and reviews its activity at the end of March 2010.

· The acquisition of CIPANGO - EuropaCorp,s television production development
  strategy becomes a reality.

EuropaCorp announces today the acquisition of CIPANGO, one of the most dynamic
independent television production companies in the French market. CIPANGO
produces TV drama targeting French and international markets and in 2009, had
revenue of EUR14.6 million (according to French accounting standards). CIPANGO
is ranked in 7th place of French TV drama producers(1), and its recent successes
include Les Bleus: Premiers pas dans la police, and XIII, an adaptation of the
eponymous comic-strip.

EuropaCorp is convinced of the strong potential of the brands created by the
Group's productions in the television market and has thus acquired CIPANGO, the
ideal partner to successfully develop its new TV drama activity which should
generate a very steady additional revenue alongside its existing activities.

The agreement confirms the acquisition in cash of 75% of CIPANGO securities; the
remaining 25% is covered by commitments to buy and to sell in four years time at
the latest. The Group will integrate this acquisition into its consolidated
accounts from the 2010/2011 financial year.

· The operating margin is expected to be down despite anticipated significant
  growth in 2009/2010 revenue.

The estimated growth in the 2009/2010 annual consolidated revenue should be up
approximately +30% compared with the 2008/2009 financial year, in particular
thanks to the production and distribution of increasingly ambitious
international films. Nevertheless, as announced on 15 February 2010, annual
activity is less than XXX had been expected by the Group, in particular due to a
disappointing performance by some recent releases and an increasingly difficult
environment for international sales. As a result and taking into account the
prudential rules applied by the Group resulting in a significant level
amortization of investments in their first year (on average 60% of the cost of
the film), the annual operating margin before general costs should be
particularly reduced for this financial year. The Group however specifies that
these results are not indicative of the profitability of these films over their
lifetime.
Considering this situation and in order to support the launch of films in the
future, EuropaCorp has strengthened its organisational structure by creating a
Direction of Cinema and by recruiting Jean de Rivières, former CEO at Walt
Disney Studios Motion Pictures France, who will head up the distribution and
marketing teams.

On 27 May, the Group will publish the complete set of figures for the 2009/2010
annual revenue, and the results for the financial year will be published on 
23 June 2010.

(1) Source: Ecran total n°769 - ranking based on the number of hours of
television programmes broadcast between September 2008 and August 2009.

· The main revolving line of credit is renewed at EUR100 million - capacity for
  production is strengthened for the next 5 years.

EuropaCorp chose to pre-empt the end of the existing line of credit currently in
place - at EUR70 million - due to expire in September 2010 - in order to
increase its credit capacity for production and thus to finance its increased
investments.

This new revolving line of credit was negotiated with a group of 8 European
banks, including 4 banks who were involved in the previous line of credit
(Société Générale, Natixis, Neuflize-OBC and BNP Paribas), and 4 new banks
(HSBC, BESV, Barclays Bank and BCME-Crédit Mutuel-Arkéa). The interest rate is
1-week Euribor with an additional margin of 155 basis points.

With this new credit facility which was agreed in spite of a stringent market
situation, EuropaCorp will have the funds at its disposal to finance its
productions over the next 5 years.

EuropaCorp's CEO Jean-Julien BARONNET concludes: "The acquisition of CIPANGO is
a significant step in the implementation of the Group's strategy; it will
increase the value of the brands developed by EuropaCorp over the last 10 years
and will generate regular income which will make the Group's activity easier to
read. Although the 2009/2010 annual results will be less than anticipated,
EuropaCorp continues to implement its strategy with confidence and thanks to the
reconfirmed support from its financial partners. EuropaCorp benefits from a
solid reputation amongst the large American distributors and with this
acquisition, confirms its position as leader in the European film industry.

· Financial calendar

27 May 2010: 2009/10 annual revenue figures 
23 June 2010: 2009/10 annual results

Contacts

EuropaCorp                                NewCap
Séverine Madinier - Investor relations    Axelle Vuillermet
smadinier@europacorp.com                  avuillermet@newcap.fr
Tel: +33 1 53 83 03 03                    Tel: +33 1 44 71 94 94

   EuropaCorp is listed on Euronext Paris - Compartment C by NYSE Euronext
                ISIN: FR0010490920 - Mnemonic: ECP
                      
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© PRNewswire 2010
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