EC’s Media Invest stimulus funding to sign first deals by end of 2022 (exclusive) | News
The European Commission will ratify the first financing agreements for its €400 million Media Invest equity instrument aimed at financing the post-pandemic recovery of the European audiovisual industry before the end of 2022, European Commissioner Thierry said on Saturday. Breton at the Cannes Film Festival.
“The first agreements resulting from Media Invest will be signed in the second half of this year,” said European Commissioner Thierry Breton.
No decision has yet been taken by the Commission, the executive arm of the EU, on the form of the equity funds contained in the umbrella vehicle Media Invest. They will be structured in response to investor demand, said a person involved in the Media Invest project.
“You have to combine everything, know-how, technological competence, reintroduce dynamics into the system, virtual reality, then re-enter the supply chain. On our end, we will gather the funding to be able to do this,” Breton said. “There is no single solution, there are several solutions.”
Examples of initiatives that could apply for funding include the organization of live events in cinemas and developments in digital technology such as the Cannes Film Festival’s efforts to attract young audiences and launch the event in the metaverse thanks to its partnership with tech company Brut this year.
The funds contained in Media Invest will leverage both EU public and private investment, although the Commission is currently open to the composition of the percentages. This too will depend on demand.
No decision has yet been made on how many funds Media Invest will hold, although around 7-10 funds have been discussed. These could take various forms, including one large fund, several small ones, or various funds of similar size.
A final decision will depend on demand and requests from investors the Commission will receive, said the person familiar with the investment project.
The allocation of funding from the funds once operational will also be demand-driven and will depend on the project offers received, with all activities in the audiovisual sector, including film production, exhibitors and video games, being eligible.
Commission representatives are actively carrying out due diligence under conditions of confidentiality with potential financial investors in Media Invest funds. Among the investors eligible to co-participate with the EU in the funds through cash injections are private equity and venture capital firms, the person said.
The Commission is also open to the creation of special purpose entities which it could co-own with potential private investors, in particular private equity and venture capital firms, in which it would consider matching each unit of euro of private sector investment to an identical amount of European investment. , says the familiar person. Mezzanine financing can also be a form of investment structure deployed under Media Invest, the person said.
Some of the funds that will be set up will come from a pre-existing pipeline of projects, while others will simply allocate funds and seek out new projects.
The EU will assign technical experts from the audiovisual sector to each fund to support financial experts and help match projects with interested investors, advising both parties during the process.
The EU is already using this form of fundraising and allocations in the space and artificial investment sectors Already in space and AI.
Media Invest was announced at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2021.