In recognition of the difficult climate of the German television market, troubled German rights trader Advanced Medien will in future only acquire film licenses so long as a broadcaster is already lined up to buy them.
This new acquisition strategy was outlined by Advanced's newly bullish CFO Otto Dauer at the presentation of its 2000 financial figures.
'The goal is to preserve Advanced as a stock exchange listed company', Dauer declared, while admitting that the company's situation had been 'precarious' from December 2000 to March 2001, but 'the strategy for 2001 is marked by the will to survive and not by rates of increase in sales and earnings'.
He explained that Advanced's performance for the first quarter of 2001 had been'unspectacular' and the company was not aiming to achieve 'great figures' this year, although its release of Heartbreakers - in which Advanced was a 20% co-financier - on May 24 could deliver up to a half of the anticipated revenues for 2001..
Dauer stressed that there were no plans for setting up a new business model for Advanced - 'We are not giving up on being a rights trader just because selling [films] is difficult' - and revealed that it was conceivable that the company might consider a fusion or acquisition by media companies not currently listed on the stock exchange. Dauer noted that Advanced has contact 'with at least 5 candidates' for such a transaction, but that a decision would not be likely to be made until the second half of this year.
In addition, he said that Advanced was also considering issuing a bond to the tune of Euro 3.68m to give the company more cash leeway. 'We want it and need it for the things we want to tackle in the near future', Dauer said.
Meanwhile, German DVD company e-m-s new media, who currently has a 24.7% stake in Advanced, may shed some of its shareholding rather than exercise the current options to increase its holding to 'far over 40 per cent'.
According to German business newspaper Handelsblatt, e-m-s board member Eugen Boss pointed out that 'Advanced is certainly still an interesting subject for us. A decision depends though on the further development and on whether a workable business model is presented. We are open to discuss in every direction'.