Hiventy has emerged from administration proceedings
The specialist in technological audio-visual services is banking on a return to equilibrium next year.
The first day of the rest of your life! That could be a great film title for Hiventy (ex-Monal), which has just emerged – with other companies of the group – from administration and safeguard proceedings. “We’d been working on these recovery plans for over a year. The end of these proceedings is reassuring for our clients and partners. Now we can look to the future,” beams Thierry Schindelé, CEO of this specialist in technological audio-visual services (post-production, subtitling etc.), a group which includes Digimage.
While Hiventy has liabilities of €10.5 million to pay off over ten years, and has been going through a “transition” period (with an operating loss of €1.3 million in 2015), it hopes to get back to making a profit again in 2017. “We’re expecting external growth from that point on,” adds Thierry.
The company, which was created in 1984 and has a workforce of 230, works on roughly half the films released every year and was involved with practically every prizewinning film at the Cannes Film Festival last year. But it has had a turbulent history. It originally suffered from developments in digital technology, exacerbated by Japan’s 2011 tsunami, which destroyed an important Sony factory. “That spurred TV producers and channels to go all-digital. At the time, however, a large part of our activity was in the production of cassettes,” Thierry remembers.
Among all this upheaval and with the group’s revenues falling, the founder of Monal – before the company was renamed Hiventy – had to appeal to investors. The European branch of the American capital-investment firm HIG took 95% of the capital at the start of 2015, tied it up with a Spanish audio-visual company in its portfolio, and appointed an independent administrator. At the same time, three of Monal’s companies were placed under the supervision of the Nanterre commercial court. “We wanted to allow ourselves some time,” adds Thierry.
Shortly after this, Hiventy attempted a buyout of Éclair for its relaunch. This fell through, however, and Ymagis snapped up that titbit. “It was at that moment that we decided to concentrate on organic growth and restructuring,” remembers Thierry Schindelé. So Hiventy closed one site, launched a job-saving plan and restructured its different metiers into just a few main areas of activity: restoration and post-production (a turnover of about €7 million out of a total of €38 million in 2015); distribution (€12.5 million), subtitling (€4.5 million); and dubbing in French (€10 million) and other languages (€4 million). Hiventy is also working increasingly with international partners, such as Netflix.