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BNP Paribas strengthens its position as European leader in film and audiovisual financing by becoming the sole shareholder of Cofiloisirs

  • BNP Paribas, which previously held a 46% stake in its affiliate Cofiloisirs, has concluded an agreement with Neuflize OBC and UGC, to hold 100% of the share capital. BNP Paribas will also take over control of Cinécapital, a specialist consultancy company 100% owned by Cofiloisirs.
  • Cofiloisirs has been a major player in film and audiovisual financing, in France and abroad, for nearly 50 years. Its main activity is the structuring of production loans.
  • This transaction complements BNP Paribas' specialised capabilities in the financing of media sector companies. It will enable the Group to offer producers tailored structured financing solutions, adapted to the cultural and creative industries, notably TV series, which are presently enjoying a booming market.

This transaction will enable BNP Paribas to strengthen its capability to meet the very high demand for content financing in a growing audiovisual market.

BNP Paribas has been present across the entire value chain of the broadcast, distribution, and production industries for more than a century, and is now the leading European bank in the financing of cinematographic and audiovisual works. With its network of 50 expert bankers in Europe, the bank, France's leading series financier, aims in particular to consolidate its position at European level.

Having supported the sector with more than 260 million euros during the crisis, and following an agreement been reached on the French media chronology, BNP Paribas has all the means necessary to meet the increased demand for content. 

Henri de Roquemaurel, Director of the Image & Media Division at BNP Paribas, said: « The health crisis has accelerated the transformation of image consumption patterns. We are now seeing very strong growth in content production funded by traditional players in the sector but also and increasingly by streaming platforms. Becoming a single shareholder of Cofiloisirs, will allow us to truly join forces to meet the challenges of this evolving market dynamic, and strengthen our role in image financing in Europe, especially with regard to series. The recognised expertise, dynamism and level of engagement of the team at Cofiloisirs and Cinécapital, will be perfectly complemented by the in-house expertise BNP Paribas has in this sector. »

Cofiloisirs and BNP Paribas have worked together for several years to co arrange funding for films such as “Sink or Swim”, Serial (Bad) Weddings 1 & 2”,Asterix and Obelix: The Empire of the Middle”, “Lost Illusions”, “Annette”, or the series “Versailles”, “Around The World in 80 days” and “Miraculous: The adventures of Ladybug and Black Cat”. In addition, many projects for platforms such as Netflix, HBO max, Amazon, Apple and Disney + are underway.

With over 3,000 films and series financed over the last 50 years, Cofiloisirs is a major player in the financing of the audiovisual and film sector in France and across Europe generally. The company helps clients finance their productions by providing tailormade project specific structured loans. Cofiloisirs works on feature films, TV series, animation and documentaries and can get involved at any stage of the project, including development, pre-production, production, or acquisition.

According to Jean-Baptiste Souchier, CEO of Cofiloisirs and Cinécapital: « In an international market characterised by ever-proliferating distribution platforms the consolidation of players and the internationalisation of projects, our unique experience and know-how acquired through the hundreds of operations we financed and advised means we can offer our clients tailored solutions adapted to each of their projects. Our position, particularly at the heart of French film financing, was brought home recently, at the 2022 César Awards, where by 14 films we financed received 56 nominations. This transaction with BNP Paribas strengthens our position further, giving us greater resources to support our French and European clients. »

The transaction is expected to be finalised later in the second quarter of 2022, following in particular the approval of the ACPR.

BNP Paribas is the European Union's largest bank and a leading international banking player. It has a presence in 68 countries and more than 193,000 employees, including nearly 148,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three operating divisions: Retail Banking for all the Group's retail banking networks and several specialised businesses, including BNP Paribas Personal Finance and Arval; Investment & Protection Services for savings, investment and protection solutions; and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which focuses on corporate and institutional clients. With a strong diversified and integrated business model, the Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through financing, investment, savings and protection services. In Europe, BNP Paribas comprises four domestic markets: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. The Group is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, Turkey, Eastern Europe and the West Coast of the United States. As a leading international banking player, the Group has leading platforms and businesses in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas region, and a solid and fast growing business in Asia Pacific.

BNP Paribas implements throughout all of its activities a Corporate Social Responsibility approach, enabling it to contribute to the construction of a sustainable future, while ensuring the Group's performance and stability.

To learn more about BNP Paribas, click here.

Over the last 50 years, Cofiloisirs has been at the heart of French and European production.

Created in 1972 by UGC, Cofiloisirs is a French Finance Company, controlled by the ACPR. Its core business is the structuring of production credits, which rely on pre purchase discount from movie and television manufacturers. The financing is arranged in project mode on behalf of European production companies. With 170 films and series financed in 2021 and a total of 680 million euros in managed loans, up 29%, Cofiloisirs is one of the European leaders in the financing of audiovisual production, offering clients tailor-made production financing solutions,  with European productions now accounting for nearly 25% of its activity.

To find out more about Cofiloisirs, click here.

A subsidiary of Cofiloisirs founded in 1985, Cinécapital provides investment advisory services in the audiovisual sector, particularly for the Sofica Cinécap, as well as valuation and M & A advisory services and account management (CAMA) for companies in the sector.

To find out more Cinécapital, click here.