EXCLUSIVE– StudioCanal is in advanced discussions with Sebastien Raybaud’s Anton Capital Entertainment to re-up its slate financing in a deal that could exceed the € 150 million ($194 million) pact originally agreed in 2011. That three-year deal, which was itself extended in 2012 to continue until the beginning of 2016, was the first of its kind in Europe and has allowed StudioCanal to emerge as Europe’s dominant film studio, and a genuine global film player, with distribution in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
That pioneering slate deal saw Sebastien Reybaud’s Anton Capital Entertainment, the Europe-based media fund of merchant bank Anton Capital, finance 30 per cent of StudioCanal’s film releases under the agreement.
Deadline understands that the new deal, though still weeks away from closing, will be on similar lines, if not even higher, given the continued growth and success produced by StudioCanal under the leadership of CEO Olivier Courson.
The European studio has enjoyed its most successful year to date, with the likes of Liam Neeson-starrer Non-Stop, The Imitation Game, Shaun The Sheep and, most spectacularly, Paddington. The latter film, based on Michael Bond’s much-loved book series and produced by Harry Potter producer David Heyman, was StudioCanal’s most ambitious to date with a budget of $55 million. StudioCanal fully financed the film, which has been a bona fide hit worldwide with grosses to date in excess of $200 million, setting up a lucrative family friendly franchise for the company.