Dallas-based Lantern Entertainment backs deal to acquire Paris studios

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The Dallas investor duo that bought Harvey Weinstein’s entertainment company have struck another deal, teaming up with an Italian company to acquire studios in Paris that have produced titles like Emily in Paris and murder mystery 2.

Lantern Entertainment, co-founded by Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic, is a backer of Tarak Ben Ammar’s $35 million purchase of Studios of Paris. The studios include nine sound stages totaling 120,000 square feet.

Ben Ammar, who co-founded the studios a decade ago and owned a 25% stake in the company, completed the acquisition through Eagle Pictures France, a subsidiary of the Italian production and distribution giant. California-based private equity firm IRA Capital is also among his backers.

Lantern Entertainment’s Andy Mitchell(Photo Courtesy / Lantern Capital Partners)

Mitchell said an increase in studio development demand was a key reason for the acquisition.

“It’s just been a lot easier to produce TV, movies and commercials inside a soundstage because you can control the environment instead of trying to outside it,” Mitchell said. “So the demand for additional places has risen sharply.”

Lantern Entertainment moved its Dallas headquarters from The Crescent to Old Parkland last fall, Mitchell said. He said he thinks Texas is an ideal place to do business.

“We still have offices in LA,” Mitchell said. “You can’t be in Hollywood and you can’t be in Hollywood, but I like continuing to grow in Texas.”

Netflix recently pledged to invest $45 million in at least 10 French and European films over the next three years. All films under the deal will have a theatrical premiere in France and launch on the streaming platform 15 months later.

Netflix murder mystery 2starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, will be filmed at the Paris studios.

Mitchell and Brajovic paid $289 million for Harvey Weinstein’s entertainment company in a bankruptcy auction in 2019. The two cleaned up Weinstein’s management team and partnered with former Metro CEO Goldwyn Mayer to run the company. They also bought Warner Bros. Pictures.

“We continue to invest in producing quality content,” Mitchell said. “It’s a kind of vertical integration. Instead of just being a production company and producing movies and films, we now acquire and control the production facilities.”

Lantern Entertainment was founded in 2018 and is part of Lantern Capital Partners LP.

Andy Mitchell (front) and Milos Brajovic, co-presidents of the Dallas-based Lantern...
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