Los Angeles-based TEAM Communications Group is to file a counter suit today against German media company FFP Entertainment and its largest shareholders Datty Ruth and Michael Smeaton, alleging amongst other things breach of contract and fraud.

The suit comes after FFP filed suit this month alleging that TEAM had failed to honour a contract concerning the two companies' joint venture, TEAM/FFP Entertainment. According to FFP chairman Michael Smeaton, TEAM was obliged to transfer 800,000 shares into an escrow account within three weeks after the contract was signed.

But TEAM chief executive Drew Levin disputes this, stating that such a transfer was contingent on a variety of requirements that FFP failed to meet including an acceptable business plan and operating budget. TEAM is seeking damages in excess of $90m.

TEAM partnered with FFP in May as part of an overseas expansion that includes buying UK production outfit Dandelion last year. The move was hailed as one of the first steps by a US company to move into the German market by acquiring an important content company.

FFP is represented by Loeb & Loeb, while TEAM is represented Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.