Germany's aggressively-expanding Kinowelt group has acquired a clutch of old and new media companies to add to its production and technical stables and underlined the strength of this strategy by reporting better than forecast profits.
The company is acquiring a 26% stake in Trebitsch Produktion Holding, a group with close links to CLT-Ufa with controlling stakes in a further eight film and TV production houses. The stake sale will cut CLT-Ufa's holding to 54% and reduce founder Katharina Trebitsch's to 16%.
Trebitsch has been responsible for films including Angela's War, The Serbian Girl and Joseph Vilsmaier's big-budget biopic Marlene. It has also produced TV movies including The Desert Rose and Der Hahn Ist Tot.
Kinowelt plans to focus on expanding Trebitsch's feature side, leading it into co-production with other labels from the Kinowelt stable and internationally with Alliance Atlantis. "Kinowelt as a partner will guarantee the best possible marketing of our films to cinemas," said Katharina Trebitsch.
The purchase of a database and acquisition of a 36% stake in e.multi Digitale Dienst is expected to further Kinowelt's Internet ambitions. The database contains information on 54,000 films and is a key source for the Film Statistics yearbook. e.multi will be floated in May.
Kinowelt also re-affirmed its profitability by announcing a performance better on most measures than the provisional figures it announced last week. Audited turnover figures came in at $187m (DM382m) compared with $84.0m (DM172m) and $5.86m (DM12m) above the provisional data. Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation climbed from $40.8m (DM83.5m) to $95.2m (DM195m).