German integrated media group TV-Loonland has intensified its presence in the US market by forming a production alliance with Artists Management Group's (AMG) Animation & Family Entertainment department to produce a minimum of four animated television series over the next three years.

Co-founded by former Disney president Michael Ovitz, Rick Yorn and Julie Silverman-Yorn, AMG represents the largest roster of animation and family entertainment talent worldwide with such clients as director Henry Selack (James And The Giant Peach), animation studio Film Roman, and writer-director-producer Shawn Levy (The Famous Jett Jackson).

This collaboration with TV-Loonland marks the first time AMG Animation has ventured into production, and it is the first time that TV-Loonland has formed a production partnership with a management company.

Under the terms of the alliance, AMG Animation & Family Entertainment will package the alliance's projects, and make the sale of the project to the appropriate domestic network or station. TV-Loonland will collaborate with AMG Animation on creative development, handle principal production and international broadcaster relationships. TV-Loonland and AMG Animation will co-own each series, including all marketing and distribution rights.

"We can think of no better partner than the AMG Animation group to enhance TV-Loonland's ability to place product in the USA," said Peter Voelkle, CEO of TV-Loonland. "This partnership gives us immediate access to the industry's finest creative talent and to AMG's proven team of executives." John Bullivant, Director of Programmes at TV-Loonland adds, "With AMG's creative talent and our production and distribution capabilities, it's a truly brilliant partnership."

After its successful IPO on the Neuer Markt in March 2000, TV-Loonland embarked on a number of important strategic acquisitions in the USA, Korea, Latin America and UK during 2000 as part of its global positioning.

In the USA, the animation specialist founded Sunbow Entertainment following its acquisition of New York based Sunbow Productions and the entire TV production and distribution business activities of Sony Wonder, both of which were divisions of Sony Music Entertainment. The company also acquired the Korean media house SRE (formerly Saerom) Entertainment Co. Ltd.; Salsa Distribution, an independent distributor that focuses exclusively on the TV market in Latin America; and the prestigious UK-based animation studio Telemagination

Most recently, TV-Loonland received the greenlight from the shareholders of the British DVD and video distributor Metrodome Group to acquire a 29.9 % stake in the company as part of a capital increase. At the same time, TV-Loonland indicated that it was prepared to extend a $2.2m (£1.5m) loan facility to Metrodome for the purpose of buying new film and video rights as part of Metrodome's development into one of the major independent, worldwide DVD and video distributors.