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EM.TV eyes global growth, ties to U.S.

Munich-based kid company sets up $1 bil financing arm

BERLIN — German media group EM.TV & Merchandising has announced it’s looking to boost foreign sales and expand globally, including taking a foothold in the U.S.

The production and marketing company, which focuses on children’s entertainment, is setting up a financing arm budgeted at 1 billion euros ($1.01 billion), with German investment bank West-LB Panmure to handle expansion strategies overseas.

Speaking at last week’s shareholders’ meeting, EM.TV finance director Florian Haffa said the company was targeting an internationally established U.S. company with cartoon interests, which would provide EM.TV access to the American market. Although no details were given, Haffa said a deal is expected within three to six months.

Gates to States

The group also is planning talks with Microsoft Corp. The group’s banks were coordinating a meeting between EM.TV chief executive officer Thomas Haffa and Bill Gates, Florian Haffa said.

The Munich-based EM.TV has been generating 90% to 95% of its revenues domestically. Foreign rev is expected to rise to 50% of the total in the short term and eventually to 80%, Haffa said, although he added that Germany still presented growth opportunities.

EM.TV recently posted nine-month results of DM117.6 million ($60.62 million) in earnings before tax and interest and overall revenue of nearly $135 million.

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