Axa to purchase French movie studio in €150mn deal

Axa Funding Managers has struck a €150mn deal to purchase a French movie studio and develop the positioning close to Paris into one in all Europe’s largest filmmaking services, as massive actual property buyers proceed to snap up sparse movement image and tv manufacturing area. 

The actual property arm of the French insurance coverage firm has agreed to buy Bry-sur-Marne Studios, east of Paris, which produced director Sofia Coppola’s 2006 movie Marie Antoinette, one of many Starvation Video games sequence and this 12 months’s display adaptation of Astérix et Obélix.

Movie studios have emerged as a well-liked area of interest for actual property buyers as they search for alternatives exterior conventional sectors equivalent to places of work and retail, that are affected by post-Covid traits in direction of on-line working and procuring. 

Buyers say the rise of streaming providers equivalent to Netflix has boosted demand for studio area, which is in brief provide — particularly close to giant cities. 

“Movie studio area remains to be lagging behind, notably in Europe,” mentioned Louis Leveillé Nizerolle, head of transactions for France at Axa IM Alts. “We’ve conviction that it is going to be a long-lasting pattern.” 

He mentioned the studio ought to profit from strain on streamers to spend money on home manufacturing in European international locations, and that the ability would finally goal to compete with the UK for worldwide productions. 

British manufacturing firms expect to make use of extra studio area within the coming 12 months to maintain up with demand, based on analysis by actual property advisers CBRE. 

“The latest progress within the business has meant the demand for manufacturing area is excessive and outweighs the obtainable provide,” CBRE mentioned. 

Axa mentioned it was planning a “vital improvement programme” throughout the 12-hectare website it acquired from developer Nexity, which is able to greater than double the studio’s manufacturing capability to create “one of many largest studios in continental Europe”. 

The French investor’s first foray into the studio sector follows strikes by different massive asset managers in recent times. Blackstone and Hudson Pacific Properties, a US-based studio and workplace investor, in 2021 acquired a 91-acre website in Broxbourne, north of London, in a £700mn undertaking to create a brand new studio. 

Nonetheless, the brand new funding by Axa comes at a time when streamers and different content material producers are anticipated to sharply sluggish unique TV manufacturing as they attempt to management prices and climate an financial downturn.

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