At the movies with Natixis
Natixis Coficiné is primarily involved in financing movies, TV series and movie theaters. Here we shine the spotlight on this highly specialized business with lending of almost €1bn.
The Intouchables, Dix pour cent, Les Bracelets rouges, La Lutte des classes, Oggy and the Cockroaches, The Night Manager and Timbuktu all have one thing in common: these successful movies and series for either movie theater or television were all at least partly financed by Natixis' subsidiary Natixis Coficiné. The company has financed around 140 films and around 100 series per year over the past 20 years across most countries in Europe, making it a sector leader in both France and Europe.
CEO Didier Duverger notes "Around a third of the films selected at the Cannes film festival are usually financed by Natixis Coficiné, and we also have a strong presence at the Séries Mania festival in Lille, the MIPTV* in Cannes, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the Toronto festival, which is a focal point for English-speaking film".
Banking through and through
Financing movies, series and cartoons may sound like a dream job, but the business requires strong expertise and nerves of steel. "Our expertise is resolutely in banking, and our job is to advise our clients as we work using structuring and reasoning methods that we find in some of the bank's other businesses" notes Didier Duverger. So it is definitely not about patronage. Natixis Coficiné's CEO goes on "we try to only work with the very best, and also sometimes the most visionary, but they must be both talented and highly successful". Each cinema or audiovisual production work is unique, but every financing deal is highly specific too, and the 35-strong team supports each year 600 clients, to provide funding of close to €1bn.
Television, piracy and the internet are overshadowing the big screen
There have been many changes recently in the audiovisual landscape, with very strong gains for TV series and programs to the detriment of cinema. Movies initially accounted for 75% of loans, with television contributing only 20%, but this proportion now stands at 60/30, with the remaining 10% coming from the subsidiary's third business, financing movie theaters. Once again, this is part of Natixis Coficiné's longstanding business, which at the start of the 1930s facilitated the opening of the Grand Rex movie theater in Paris. More recently, the company financed the construction of a six-theater building in Saint-André de Cubzac in the Gironde region of France, while other theaters will be completed before the summer in Canet-en-Roussillon in the south of France, and Porto-Vecchio in Corsica.
Over the past ten years, Natixis Coficiné's business and expertise have expanded extensively on the international arena. The subsidiary has already developed a strong reputation in the US, Canada, the UK, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia, where its expertise is well renowned. It has also grown its business in Australia, where audiovisual production has long been very active.
* International market for content development and distribution