Tunisian film: Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta

The beginning of the end?

Industry, Tunisia

Tunisian film: Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta

The compulsory liquidation of the Quinta industry group on December 15, 2011, came as a surprise to everyone.

The bankrupcy was, according to ‘Les Cahiers du cinéma’, due to the digitisation of cinema, for which Quinta was not prepared. Why did Tarak Ben Ammar’s group not take the steps to equip and adapt itself to this new technology? And what does the future hold for Gammarth’s labs, following the whole affair?  

An empire 

From 2002 Tarak Ben Ammar launched a strategy of expansion through a holding company, Quinta, which was comprised of three subsidiaries, for which he spent €150m and employed about 1,000 people. The following year, he bought two television channels. Since 2008, he has been partner of an Italian communications group, not to mention Hammamet’s Empire Studios and Gammarth’s LTC labs.

A real empire he built himself thanks to his several relationships with the industry’s big fish. But what lead to this powerful empire starting to shake and to one of its branches going out of business?


The domino effect

The debts started to build up. Quinta therefore went into administration in November 2011, then into liquidation.

The competitive prices adopted by the group to conquer the market are likely to have played a role in the subsidiary’s bankrupcy. It even has something to do with the political changes of the Arab Spring which unintentionally contributed to the loss of some funding. The domino effect led all of Quinta’s subsidiaries to crumble.

(Source: Les Cahiers du cinéma - February 2012)

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