Private German broadcaster RTL has denied claims made by EM.TV Board Chairman Werner Klatten at a press conference last week that the RTL Group is interested in acquiring a stake in distributor-producer Constantin Film.

The suggestion that RTL might be interested in taking an interest in Constantin is arguably not so off-the-mark. The two companies are now bound together in an exclusive distribution co-operation where Constantin handles the theatrical release in Germany and Austria for films where RTL had acquired "all rights". To date, Constantin has six of RTL's acquisitions in its 2002/3 release lineup, including Van Wilder, K-PAX, Killing Me Softly and K-19

Klatten also predicted that if the KirchGroup's KirchBeteiligung unit also registers insolvency, its 21.1% stake in Constantin Film would be re-distributed among founder Bernd Eichinger and EM.TV with 0.1% going into the free float.

According to the private bankers Merck Finck & Co., negotiations between Kirch and EM.TV had originally seen plans for the 21.1% stake to be transferred to EM.TV but "the inherent uncertainty about the pending sale of the stake burdened Constantin's share price in the past".

Constantin's share price climbed by 10.63% during trading on Friday 12 April