Drefa Media Holding, a subsidiary of Leipzig-based public broadcaster MDR, is planning to sell its 37.5% stake in the recently privatised East German Progress Film Distributors.

Progress holds global exclusive rights to more than 6,000 feature films, documentaries and animation films produced by the former DEFA studios between 1946 and 1990. Drefa and Munich-based investment company Tellux Holding acquired the company from East German privatisation body BVS in 1997.

Drefa and Tellux each hold 37.5% of Progress, while German mini-major Kinowelt Medien acquired the remaining 25% at the beginning of 1998.

"Now the privatisation [of Progress] is complete, we consider a withdrawal to be appropriate," said Drefa managing director Juergen Vogel-Jahn speaking to German media magazine epd medien.

Meanwhile Tellux managing director Bernd Grote said his company intends to end its co-operation with Kinowelt because Drefa and Tellux''''s hopes that Kinowelt would give films from the Progress catalogue a theatrical release "had not been fulfilled".