Germany's Splendid Medien has decided not to exercise an option to acquire further shares in its US production subsidiary IEG.

Taking up the option on 2% of IEG's stock would have made the German concern majority shareholder with a 51% stake. In an adhoc statement to Frankfurt's Neuer Markt, Splendid said that "the conditions currently prevailing in the film market advocate a US majority in IEG".

Unconsolidated sales for Splendid in 2000 are set to reach around $24m - well short of a target of $46m. IEG's 2000 sales of approximately $60m will not be shown pro rata in Splendid's consolidated accounts.

The statement stressed that "no significant changes" will occur in the operating statements of the two companies because of the decision not to take up the stock.

Splendid aims for sales for 2001 to top $48m. On the basis of current levels of production, the Cologne-based outfit expects IEG's sales to rise to $90m in 2001.