Datty Ruth's Munich-based media company VCL Film and Medien has acquired 100% of Danish distributor Scanbox Entertainment.

The cost of the acquisition, around $2.5m, will be mostly paid in VCL stock, which was valued at $17 per share for the purpose of this deal. Although the deal is subject to the approval of VCL and Scanbox shareholders, who will meet in early October, the four main shareholders have already agreed to the terms and conditions in the agreement.

With a market-share of 14%, Scanbox is the leading independent distributor in Denmark. The company had a combined gross of about $40m in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland in the fiscal year 1999/2000.

Scanbox currently holds the theatrical rights to about 1100 titles. In many cases, the operation also has DVD and video rights, which are highly valued in the North European territories.

For VCL, which enjoyed the most successful IPO of all German media companies last year, the deal marks a first decisive step into European distribution. Earlier this year, the company made several prominent deals with filmmakers including Woody Allen and taking a 25% stake in the next two Terminator sequels.

Along with co-financing 12 theatrical pictures with Steven Paul's Crystal Sky Communications and Paramount, the company also boarded a slate of films from Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope. UK-based Capitol Films partnered with VCL on the Zoetrope slate.