Tech and VFX giant Technicolor and its former CEO Frederic Rose have been indicted on fraud and breach of trust charges in France, per a report in French trade La Lettre Audiovisuelle, which we have confirmed.
The high court charges come after a seven-year investigation into Technicolor’s part in the 2011 bankruptcy of Tarak Ben Ammar’s post-production firm Quinta Industries, which Technicolor had owned a stake in but then fully acquired in early 2012.
Producer Ben Ammar had alleged that Technicolor worked against his company to force it into bankruptcy, and then purchased his assets at cut down price. Ben Ammar has filed both criminal and civil suits, the latter demanding €60M in damages.
The local judge in Nanterre, France, said she suspected Technicolor of having played a crucial role in Quinta Industries’ demise. She also accused Technicolor of having hidden its intention to launch its own post-production firm Technicolor Entertainment Services France, and suspects the firm of having hidden negotiations with former rival Deluxe, which Ben Ammar claims he had been trying to partner up with to avoid bankruptcy.
The lengthy investigation included searching the computers of Technicolor executives, including Rose. The case will continue in 2020.
Tehnicolor and Ben Ammar were unavailable for comment. Rose unexpectedly left the firm last month after more than a decade in the role. He was replaced as CEO by Richard Moat.
Technicolor owns and operates animation and VFX studios including MPC, The Mill, Mikros Image, Technicolor Animation, Technicolor Games, and Mr. X.
Veteran Franco-Tunisian producer Ben Ammar, former TWC board member and current Vivendi board member, has produced movies including Chromophobia, Hannibal Rising and more recently Nate Parker’s American Skin. TV credits include Epix drama The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair.