German facilities group Das Werk is to merge with En Efecto, a Barcelona-based post-production and animation group.

En Efecto groups together four companies: post-production companies Video Efecto and Cinefecto, laboratory Image Film and Film & Tape, which distributes materials. The group recently joined the Max European Post-Production Alliance.

Financial details of the merger, which are unlikely to be completed until the autumn, will be unveiled at Das Werk's annual shareholder meeting today in Frankfurt. But the company says that the move is the first step in its promised international expansion and will require the rewriting of its business forecasts.

"With this merger Das Werk will establish itself as a global player in the Champions League of digital film and video processing," the company said in a statement.

Das Werk, which is traded on the Neuer Markt stock exchange, last week also announced the acquisition of a 50.1% stake in FFP Media, a company newly founded by FFP Entertainment to handle German-language contract TV programme production. The acquisition is being handled through Traumwerk, one of Das Werk's two expanding film production and distribution arms.

Das Werk says the two groups are highly complementary and that it expects to be able to accelerate development of its activities in Germany as a result. En Efecto's Cine Efecto DVD mastering division will immediately be able to service the fast growing German DVD market. The Tons Of Toons Of Gerona and the 45%-owned Korean company Spako Media, are expected to help Das Werk expand into cartoon projects targeted at the international market. It says that the Das Werk-Trixter Film project Loisel's Peter Pan could be first to take this route. Similarly, Das Werk says that the En Efecto merger will improve its capacity for acquisition of large and international feature film projects.

Turnover for the current year has been reforecast at Euros86.9m, operating profits are restated at Euros14.9m and earnings per share, adjusted for the issue of 1.1m new shares, are predicted at Euros0.65. Shares in Das Werk rose 2% this morning to Euros39.7.