Michael and Rainer Koelmel's takeover of the core assets of their Kinowelt empire has been thrown into question, according to the German weekly news magazine Focus.

In its latest edition, Focus reported that Leipzig's City Savings Bank has still not granted the Koelmel brothers a Euros 32m credit for their takeover bid because of 'numerous as yet unfulfilled conditions.'

In addition, the takeover has been delayed by the launch of a special investigation into the question of whether some Euros 7.4m were siphoned out of the media concern through sham invoices at the beginning of 2001.

In August, the Koelmel brothers won back control of their empire having beaten a management buyout led by former Kinowelt executives Marcus Schoefer and Jerry Payne (Screendaily.com, August 9). The Koelmels' bid had been made with backing from the Deutsche Kreditbank, Stadtsparkasse Leipzig, Munich-based producer Openpictures, the investment group MK Beteiligungsgesellschaft and Rainer Koelmel's production outfit Starhaus Produktionen.