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VCL planning linkup with unnamed partner

Co. says move would put new entity in DVD/video biz profit position

BERLIN — German film and licensing company VCL Medien said Monday that it has signed a letter of intent to merge with an unnamed media company.

In a statement, VCL said the deal depended on due diligence and approval from both boards. VCL declined to name the company but said the move would put the new entity into a better position to profit from the DVD/video business while resolving its own liquidity problems.

VCL, which has production pacts with helmers Woody Allen and Francis Ford Coppola, recently announced plans to scale back its film licensing activities to concentrate on its core home entertainment business.

Consolidation among Germany’s stock exchange-listed media companies has long been expected after the Neuer Markt’s decline. German kidvidder EM.TV already has announced plans to buy up fellow public media companies while indie giant Kinowelt Medien has said it is mulling a partnership that it expects to conclude by the end of the year.

VCL shares closed down 8.57% to 2.24 euros ($2.04) Monday.

Separately, VCL announced Monday that it had reached a distribution agreement with UIP for the German-speaking market. UIP will release “Jeepers Creepers” and “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” in Germany. Marketing will be handled by Christoph Ott’s new company, OTTFilm.

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