The studio acquires Dutch FilmWorks, the leading producer and distributor in the Benelux, with 25 films a year and a catalog of 900 feature films.
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When we met her at the end of last year, the general manager of Studiocanal Anna Marsh promised external growth operations to come. This is today done. According to our information, the film production and distribution subsidiary of the Canal+ group will take a majority stake in Dutch FilmWorks, a very profitable company founded 25 years ago in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, which employs around 30 people. “It has been ten years since the acquisition of 100% of Hoyts Distribution in Australia and New Zealand that Studiocanal has brought new territory into its fold. This acquisition is a major operation to strengthen the studio's leading position in Europe. It will also contribute to the international influence of Dutch films and series, which, thanks to Studiocanal, will be able to travel even further,” says Anna Marsh.
The turnover of Dutch FilmWorks is around thirty million euros. If the French buyer does not reveal the amount of the buyout, it would reach several tens of millions of euros. “Dutch FilmWorks is the leading producer and distributor of films in the Benelux, with a line-up of more than 25 feature films each year and a catalog of approximately 900 Dutch and international films”, specifies the general manager of Studiocanal. /p>
The producer also designs series for American platforms, such as Voices of Liberation documentary series co-produced with Netflix and the Flemish streaming platform Streamz, Knokke in production with VRT and Netflix and the documentary The Art Dispute, directed by Hans Pool, which won an Emmy Award in 2019 for Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World. He owns The Claus Family Christmas movie franchise for Netflix and is behind 100% Coco, the drama My Best Friend Anne Frank, a documentary about football coach Van Gaal, Van Gaal, The Man behind the Legend, the comedy Taste of Love, expected in the second half of 2023 and the Hacked series screened at CannesSéries and broadcast on Streamz.
Benelux is a very attractive territory. The Netherlands is particularly a very good market in terms of cinema attendance.Anna Marsh, Managing Director of Studiocanal
Dutch FilmWorks produces approximately 7 local films per year, and its local film market share is 35%. It currently distributes two films in the top 10 of the Dutch box office, Marokkaanse Bruiloft (number 3) and Costa! (number 5). In the Walloon part of Belgium, the Dutch group has agreements with the operator Kinepolis Group to show French films. This will allow him in particular to distribute Canal films presented as November by Cédric Jimenez, on the hunt for the perpetrators of the attacks of November 13, 2015.
“The Benelux is a very attractive territory. The Netherlands in particular is a very good market in terms of cinema attendance. Last year, it represented more than 150 million euros. In 2021, Dutch FilmWorks' market share there was around 10%, compared to 16% for Disney and 11% for Warner, knowing that the following distributors hold between 1% and 3% of market share, ”explains Anna Marsh .
Studiocanal intends to rely on the teams of the company taken over, which will become its Benelux subsidiary, in order to produce, buy and distribute its catalog in the Benelux. “Canal+ acquired in 2019 the channel distributor M7, present in Eastern Europe and Benelux. It makes sense to have production and distribution entities in the countries where Canal+ is present.
An 'open eye' to other opportunities
The next few months will be dedicated to the integration of Dutch FilmWorks into the French group, which already has a direct distribution subsidiary in France, Germany, in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and achieved more than 500 million euros in revenue in 202. “Studiocanal is keeping an eye open for other external growth opportunities in the future, with a focus on Europe essentially, says Anne Marsh. We are not looking to expand at all costs. These are reflections that we mature at length, and we ensure that each acquisition is aligned with our values, our vision of the production and distribution of films and series, and above all, that it is part of the long term. . »