Spanish film studio hit by state aid probe fails to find buyer

Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:33pm EDT
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - Authorities in the Spanish region of Valencia failed on Monday to find a buyer for a film studio touted as the most modern in Europe but which was forced to close after being ordered to repay state aid.

The Ciudad de la Luz complex attracted only one bid at an auction, which failed to meet the minimum conditions for a sale, chief press spokesman for the Valencia regional government, Joaquim Clemente, said on his Twitter feed.

Those included a base price of just over 94 million euros, according to several Spanish media reports.

Clemente said a second attempt will be made to auction the studio, located outside Alicante, one of the main seaside resorts on the Costa Blanca.

Ciudad de la Luz opened in 2005 and shot 33 films up to 2009, according to European Union data, backed by 265 million euros ($294 million) of funding from Valencia's regional government that prompted antitrust complaints to Brussels from competitors.

The European Commission upheld the complaints in 2012 and ordered Ciudad de la Luz to repay the aid, leading to its assets being auctioned off.

These are described on the studio's website as "the most modern ... in Europe (with) ... all the facilities and installations necessary for the various stages of the development of cinematographic and audiovisual productions."

In another cut-price auction on July 17 for now unviable infrastructure built during Spain's boom years, a group of international investors won Ciudad Real airport with a 10,000 euro offer, sources said, the only bidder for a complex that cost more than 1 billion euros.

(Reporting by John Stonestreet; Editing by Catherine Evans)