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BUSINESS

American firms turned off France by Hollande

France's attractiveness as a place to do business has plummeted in the eyes of US businesses active in the country after the change to a Socialist government, according to a survey released Thursday.

The survey among the heads of the French units of US companies found that only 22 percent saw France as an attractive place to do business, down from 56 percent in 2011.

Conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris and consulting firm Bain and Company, the survey questioned 52 leaders of French operations of US companies that had 39,000 employees and generated €32 billion ($42 billion) in sales last year.

Some 39 percent of the business leaders said they believed their headquarters in the United States had a negative perception of France, compared with 15 percent in 2011 and 9 percent in 2010.

While the drop in attractiveness was due to a range of factors, 65 percent of respondents said the election of a Socialist government had had a negative effect.

The survey was conducted in October, before the new government sent shivers through business circles by threatening to nationalise a steel factory toprevent ArcelorMittal shutting it down.

Some 85 percent of those polled had a negative opinion of the government's business tax policies, although 73 percent were in favour of a €20-billion initiative that would lower their tax charges to employ workers.

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BUSINESS

France’s Mediawan buys majority stake in Brad Pitt’s Plan B

French media company Mediawan has bought a majority stake in US film star Brad Pitt's production house Plan B Entertainment, it said Friday, in a deal reportedly worth more than $300 million.

France's Mediawan buys majority stake in Brad Pitt's Plan B

Plan B, co-founded by Pitt in the early 2000s with his then-wife Jennifer Aniston has three best picture Oscar winners to its name: “The Departed”, “Twelve Years a Slave” and “Moonlight”.

The deal “marks the deployment of Mediawan into the American market,” the French company said in a press release which did not say how much the deal was worth.

The Financial Times reported the deal had valued Plan B Entertainment at more than $300 million.

“Cinema is becoming international. Talents are emerging all over the world,” Pitt said in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper. “For our future projects, we have to look outside the United States.”

With Mediawan “we have the same conception of how to produce films and series,” he added.

In a press release Mediawan CEO Pierre-Antoine Capton said the deal was “an exceptional opportunity to be able to develop Mediawan alongside Plan B, the most beautiful independent production company in the US.”

Founded in 2015 Mediawan produces and distributes films, series and streaming shows and has recently snapped up several production houses across Europe.

It produced the hit Netflix show “Call My Agent.”

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