Lagardère Studios opening up in Italy

French production and distribution group Lagardère Studios will soon open offices in Italy through its Spanish company Boomerang.

Two of Boomerang’s soaps, Acacias 38 and El Secreto, are already playing strongly on Italian net Canale 5, where they garner between 18% and 20% of audience shares,” Lagardère Studios CEO Takis Candilis said at a press conference in Cannes at MIPTV. This has, in part, spurred the strategic pan to open permanent bases.

Boomerang is also expanding Latin America, where two new subsidiaries in Colombia and Peru will complement an exiting base in Chile.

Lagardère has reaffirmed its goal to strengthen in European production and distribution to better answer to market demand. It has also said that it is looking for more acquisitions targets despite abandoning a takeover of Scandinavia’s Nice Drama two years ago.

TBI sources have linked Lagardère to a new approach for Nice Drama parent Nice Entertainment, which is part of the Modern Times Group and thought to be up for sale. Sony Pictures Television has also been named as a potential buyer.

Lagardère Studios is already working with Nice Drama on thriller series Midnight Sun through its international coproduction-oriented company Atlantique. Currently in post-production, the series will be broadcast next autumn on Canal+ in France and VRT in Belgium.

Atlantique, meanwhile, plans to refocus on the European market after US coproductions Borgia and The Transporter. “We want to work with European talents and we have development [ongoing] in Spain, Germany, UK, Scandinavia and Italy,” co-managing directors Olivier Bibas and Jimmy Desmarais said.

Atlantique has already working on Eden, a coproduction with Berlin companies Lupa Film and Port au Prince Films for SWR and Arte, and Metal Hurlant Origins, a coproduction with WE Productions. It is also adapting the Django Western movies for television with Italian company Cattleya.

In terms of distribution, Lagardère Studios has acquired several European series acquisitions announced. Lagardère Studios Distribution, which now accounts for more than 10% of group revenues, has acquired Belgian thriller series Beau Séjour from deMensen. It is also selling family football saga Brothers United, which comes from the same producer, and kids series Mystery Club from RTL Kids.

There are also new French titles such as Cannabis from Tabo Tabo and Transferts, which is from Filmagine and Panama Productions. The commercial arm has sold Lagardère’s inhouse series Trepallium into ten territories, including to Netflix in France and Germany.