Germanlicence trader Intertainment has settled its longstanding legal battle withElie Samaha, former chief executive of Franchise Pictures, and productioncompany Sidonian Holdings (formerly Glickson Investments International).

TheMunich-based company had been forced into insolvency after failing to recoupdamages of $121.7m awarded by a court against Samaha, Franchise Pictures andSidonian and 15 further production companies in 2004.

The USFederal Court found Samaha and Franchise guilty of fraudently inflating budgetson a slate of films.

Intertainment-which was taken over by Kinowelt in May - will now receive $3m from the twocompanies to be paid in two instalments by mid-December.

Itwill also take ownership of around 100 film production or film distributioncontrolled by Samaha before August 18, 2004.

"Thevalue of this interest cannot be determined at present as third parties havealso claimed ownership rights in several of these companies; FranchisePictures' restructuring manager is among the claimants. In addition, several ofthese production companies have filed for bankruptcy," the company notedin a communique.

Allfurther claims from the summer 2004 judgement against Samaha and Sidonian havebeen waived.

Following its acquisition of a 50.5% of Intertainment, Kinowelt's co-founder Michael Koelmel announced his company would "single-mindedly" pursue the claims from the lawsuit against Franchise Pictures.

Koelmel said his company would initially concentrate its energies on reviving Intertainment's license trading operations since it holds the European rights to such attractive library titles as Nine And A Half Yards and The Art Of War.