A final decision on the fate of the debt-ridden Kinowelt Medien Group is likely to be made by the second half of March, according to the provisional insolvency administrator Dr. Wolfgang Ott.

In a status report to the end of January on his efforts with Kinowelt's management and the creditor banks to preserve the assets of the debtors, Ott declared that "further collapse of the Kinowelt Media Group has been halted. Business operations are continuing in an orderly fashion and according to plan. Liabilities incurred since the appointment of the provisional administrator are being met including wages and salaries for January of this year, which is unusual in such cases. The funds required for this purpose are available, and according to current liquidity planning this will also be the case in February and March of this year".

At the same time, the restructuring of the concern's 62 direct and indirect holdings has been relaunched with the focus on the core businesses of license trading, theatrical distribution and home entertainment. "The process of shedding business segments that are no longer of relevance has continued", Ott noted, pointing out that the sale of the German Kinopolis multiplex chain (unrelated to Belgium's Kinepolis) would "shortly be concluded", and that negotiations for the sale of the in-flight subsidiaries Atlas Air Film + Media Service and Atlas Air Entertainment Concepts were making "good progress".

"As soon as the value-added chain for film rights has been repaired, the flow of payments can recommence", Ott declared. "This will mean that the liquidity cycle will begin to function again. Here, too, we expect solutions to be found in the near future".

Reactivating of Kinowelt's core business would, however, require new sources of finance. Ott revealed that "initial talks with potential investors have already commenced, and enquiries have been received from others". Talks are expected to reach "the decision-making stage" by mid March and thus a final decision on Kinowelt's fate will be made, in collaboration with the creditor banks, in the latter part of March.