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Technicolor boosts role in French cinema

PARIS (Reuters) - Technicolor SA plans to expand in the French cinema industry by buying the digital post-production activities of Quinta Industries, which was put into liquidation last month, briefly threatening the future of 60 films.

The company wants to build on its recent expansion in film post-production in Hollywood and New York to help the French industry transition to digital formats and is looking for more opportunities to expand geographically, it said on Friday.

"Technicolor is world leader in services to the cinema industry ... (but) we were totally absent from the French market," Chief Executive Frederic Rose told a conference call. "We spent 18 months looking for opportunities to get established."

The group is buying Quinta's audio businesses ADJ and SIS, as well as digital conversion company Scanlab, enabling Technicolor to enter the French digital cinema distribution market. It also hopes to buy image and colorization specialist Duboi.

Technicolor, which did not give financial details of the Quinta deal, does not plan to take on Quinta's LTC, which specializes in printing film reels, including those for Golden Globe award-winning silent film The Artist.

Technicolor has itself been struggling with economic conditions in Europe, where it has seen the market deteriorate particularly in its digital delivery unit, which supplies TV decoders and set-top boxes.

The group lowered its profit forecast last month and said it would cut 600 jobs.

(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by James Regan; Editing by David Holmes)

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