Armenian government buys back film studio

Armenian government buys back film studio
Armenfilm opening credits in Russian (Image: Errand Kochar under a CC licence)

1 September 2015

The Armenian government yesterday approved a decision by the shareholders of ArmenFilm Studio to re-register the company and return its shares to the state.

According to Arman Sahakyan, head of the government department in charge of state property, an agreement between the Armenian government and Armenia Studios, which owns ArmenFilm, is to be dissolved. The government will pay 345 million dram (approx. US$715,000) for 100% of the studio’s shares, while current shareholders will pay 5 million dram (approx. US$10,500) as compensation from the studio to the government.

It is reported that the reason for the return of the shares is the failure of the studio’s owners, Gerard Cafesjian and Bagrat Sargsyan, both Americans of Armenian origin, to fulfill their contractual obligations. In particular, over the past decade they made no attempt to upgrade the studio, omitting to invest in modern equipment and failing to build film sets.