MediaInvest Approves First Deals Worth a Projected $530 Million



SAN SEBASTIAN — MediaInvest, a new E.U. equity tool managed by the European Investment Fund, which targets the audiovisual industry with €400 million ($424 million) over 2022-27, has made its first deals: An equity agreement with France’s Logical Content Ventures, part of Logical Pictures, and three debt financing agreements, with Spain’s Cersa and Crea and Luxembourg-based The Archers. 

Announced Sunday at the San Sebastian Film Festival following on a Spain-hosted E.U. Conference, the agreements are worth a total of €68.25 million ($72.35 million). They are expected to leverage around €500 million ($530 million) of new financing for audiovisual and creative companies and projects, the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive arm, confirmed Monday.

MediaInvest “provides a response to one of the pressing challenges in Europe for audiovisual companies: the lack of access to finance. This will strengthen the financial capacities of European companies, enable them to get better value for the intellectual property they create and in turn boost their growth and international exposure,” Renate Nikolay, European Commission deputy director-general for DG CNECT, told Variety

Launched in Cannes last year by Commissioner Thierry Bréton, MediaInvest’s ultimate goal is to boost investment in the audiovisual sector and to encourage the creation of audiovisual equity funds, the Commission said Monday in a statement. 

Given the intense due diligence conducted by the EIF on any company receiving E.U. moneys, its funding can have a cascade effect, attracting investment from private-sector third parties, Logical Pictures president Fréderic Fiore explained to Variety.

The EIF has approved an investment of up to €25 million ($26.5 million) in Logical Content Ventures. Benefiting from a co-investment partnership with France’s Pathé, one of its biggest production-distribution-exhibition conglomerates, LCV aims to raise up to €70 million ($74.2 million) in equity investment in European audiovisual production and distribution companies.

LCV focuses on the production of movies, TV series and impact content across Europe, dealing with women’s empowerment, diversity and human rights.

“Very flexible,” said Fiore, LCV invests against worldwide rights, recouping from international minimum guarantees, as well as P&A for a films domestic market release. 

Its investment strategy, Fiore explained to Variety, is that while the international theatrical value of films has plummeted over the last two decades, thanks to the VOD explosion, movies’ total value in the international market place has increased. 

The EIF has also signed with MDDG, a new Luxembourg-based fund, acting as a general partner of its investment vehicles The Archers and The Archers Production.

MDDG is specialised in investments in the audiovisual sector, mainly financing the co-production of films and TV series. The EIF €8.25 million ($8.75 million) guarantee line aims to leverage a portfolio of around €50 million ($53 million) in financing.

The Archers is also financing against international, being “a fund open for European independent producers and European sales company to send a project that needs financing,” Grumbach said at the San Sebastian signature ceremony with the EIF on Sunday.

“We will assess projects’ international potential thanks to sales estimates, script reviews like the usual job of a sales company, of a local distributor,” he added, saying the fund is looking for “projects with a clear international vision, a local project going global.”  

More to come.


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