NEST WITH INTERBANCA
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ November 21st 2001 ]
expanding Italian independent producer-distributor
Eagle Pictures will receive a 50 million euro
($44 million) cash infusion, thanks to a pact
with Interbanca that gives the merchant bank a
13.8% stake in the company.
will provide the funds in medium-term financing
to be channeled into Eagle's theatrical acquisitions
and film production. The Milan-based bank also
will underwrite a $9 million capital increase,
making it a minority partner in Eagle.
principal financial investor, B&S Private Equity
Group, has injected $6.8 million more in capital,
upping its stake in Eagle to 25.1%. Established
in 1986 and long active in the TV rights and homevideo
sectors, Eagle began a concentrated push last
season to boost its profile and become a player
in the theatrical arena.
a modest start, the company has registered considerable
success with U.S. mainstream commercial imports,
scoring hits with "Chocolat," "Save the Last Dance"
and "Along Came a Spider." Results of "Dance"
and "Spider" have hoisted Eagle to fourth among
Italo distribs for the B.O. season that kicked
off in July, giving the banner a 10% market share,
ahead of majors Fox, BVI and Columbia TriStar.
releases include "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "Novocaine"
and "Rollerball." At the Mifed film mart earlier
this month, Eagle finalized acquisition of a four-title
New Line package that includes "Rush Hour 2."
The company is headed by brothers Ciro and Stefano
Dammicco, with industry veteran Giampaolo Sodano
as president. Eagle committed earlier this year
to pay Ron Bass $2 million to script and produce
an adaptation of Robert Mawson's novel "The Lazarus
Child," which it optioned in a $1 million rights
Eagle announced a slate of five new theatrical
productions including "The White Rose," a $15
million drama set in Nazi Germany, to be directed
by Joel Schumacher; and "Blackberry Wine," based
on the novel by "Chocolat" author Joanne Harris.