Patrick Martin, the former managing director and partner of Helkon Media, is to spearhead the ambitions of yet another aggressive German-based international film production and distribution hydra, 2K Media.

Martin will become a joint partner and share the chief executive officer title with 2K Media's founder Hans Peter Kaufmann, the former Kirch executive who also serves as chairman of 2K's executive board.

Effective immediately, Martin will be in charge of business development, strategy and new media expansion, drawing on his extensive experience in structuring and executing all manner of equity investment and co-production deals as Helkon built its empire.

His arrival at 2K Media comes on the heels of a rapid spate of expansion activity. The company has already taken majority stakes in Brad Krevoy's Motion Picture Corp. of America, Roland Joffe's Lightmotive and David Kirkpatrick's Original Voices. In addition, 2K Media has bought into Canada's Chesler Perlmutter and 2Match, the UK-based sales company run by Marie Hoy whose slate includes several Kirkpatrick productions.

2K Media is also the parent company of Kaufmann's Munich-based dubbing company, Plaza Synchron and production outfit Magic Worx Film and TV Produktion. Its eponymous wholly-owned US subsidiary is presided over by Tim Helfet, formerly of Rysher Entertainment, who also sits on the executive board.

"With an excellent business plan now in place and the calibre of team we are creating, I am confident that we will build 2K Media into a major player in the entertainment industry," said Martin in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

A member of the Munich Bar and the High Court of Munich, Martin joined Helkon Media in March 1996 as the legal and management consultant, rising to senior vice president as he helped prepare and supervise Helkon's Initial Public Offering in October 1999.

As managing director, Martin was responsible for a number of Helkon's film production transactions with Los Angeles partners. These include the recently announced production deal with Joe Singer in conjunction with Lions Gate Films International; the equity and output deal with the Newmarket Capital Group; and Helkon's participation alongside Japan's Toho-Towa in MGM's co-financing and co-production pact with Chuck Roven's Atlas Entertainment. In Germany, he was involved in Helkon's equity investment in Musikplay AG.

Prior to Helkon, Martin spent almost three years in Bogota, Colombia, first as an economic and legal consultant championing Colombian/German trade relations and then as a partner in the Vernot Abogados international law firm, where he was head of the corporate, international trade and foreign investment departments.

A freelance lawyer for two years at Nörr, Stiefenhofer and Lutz, one of Germany's leading international law practices, Martin continued to hone his legal and business experience throughout the late 1980's and 1990's working for the Commission of the European Union researching the media concentration in Europe and advising the First Boston Corporation in New York on mergers and acquisitions.