The seemingly never-ending saga of the Koelmel brothers' bid to take over their insolvent Kinowelt empire looks like having been resolved.

After a meeting on December 13 between the Koelmels' Neue Spielfilm Vertriebs- und Marketing GmbH, the insolvency administrator Wolfgang Ott, representatives of Sparkasse Leipzig and members of the creditors committee, agreement was reached on accepting the Koelmel's bid of October 2.

This agreement was made possible after the Sparkasse's credit committee decided on the previous day to furnish Neue Spielfilm with Euros 26m credit despite the fact that the Land of Saxony had withdrawn its state guarantee on November 27,

In a statement, Ott explained that the financing structure would have to be changed and additions to the purchase agreement would "still be required" but these would not affect the overall purchase price of Euros 32m.

"If the arrangements of December 13 are kept to on all sides and are realised in the short term, the purchase price can flow before the end of this year", Ott said, adding that Neue Spielfilm could take over the running of Kinowelt's core activities at the beginning of 2003 if the purchase price had been transferred.

According to the local newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung, the Sparkasse had indicated that its Euro 26m credit was being made available on the understanding that the company's headquarters will be moved from Munich to Leipzig. The number of new jobs created in Leipzig will depend on how many Kinowelt staff decide to make the move from Munich.

Since an open letter issued by the Munich 70-strong workforce last month had suggested that a maximum of ten would consider moving "under certain circumstances", there could conceivably be between 50-60 vacancies waiting to be filled when Kinowelt makes the planned move in the first two quarters of 2003.