The restructured film and TV group Odeon Film has taken over Munich-based production company Hofmann & Voges Entertainment, which will continue to operate as a separate entity under the new owner's roof.

The purchase price (in single-digit millions) was largely paid for with shares in Odeon, thus making Mischa Hofmann and Philip Voges the company's second largest shareholder after fund manager David Groenewold's German Film Productions (GFP).

'With Mischa Hofmann and Philip Voges we have been able to win our absolute dream partners for the development of our core businesses of TV and cinema production,' Groenewold commented.

Hofmann - who will now serve additionally as Odeon Film's board member with responsibility for the group's feature film activities - predicted 'an exicting common future ahead of us where we would like to start a few things in motion on the film and TV market.'

Hofmann and Voges met each other during their student days in the production and media economy class at Munich's Academy for Television & Film.

Over the past 10 years, they have produced 160 TV and feature film productions, including the award-winning TV series Turkish For Beginners, the films Erkan & Stefan, Night Of The Living Dorks (which Warner Independent Pictures is to remake) and the Til Schweiger comedy Where Is Fred'

The producer duo currently has two feature projects set to go into production later this year. Christoph Schrewe's comedy Ausbilder Schmidt - Der Film will be shot at Studio Babelsberg during July and August and released theatrically in Germany by the local outpost of Universal Pictures International.

Meanwhile, a September start is scheduled for principal photography in Shanghai on Oscar-winner Florian Gallenberger's Second World War China-based drama John Rabe, which will be produced by Hofmann & Voges Entertainment, with EOS Entertainment, Huayi and broadcaster ZDF as a feature film and two-part mini-series.

The Lives Of Others lead actor Ulrich Muehe has been cast as the German Siemens manager John Rabe who was named the 'Schindler of Nanking' for saving 250,000 people during the Japanese occupation. Daniel Bruehl, Dagmar Manzel, Gottfried John, Juergen Vogel and Jingchu Zhang will co-star.

Distributor-producer Majestic Film, which was set up by GFP's Groenewold with former Senator Film executive Benjamin Herrmann last summer will co-produce and distribute John Rabe.