Fox, WB meld Swiss distrib ops

Warner's Baumgartner becomes CEO of new entity

GENEVA — Twentieth Century Fox Film Switzerland in Geneva and Warner Bros. (Transatlantic) in Zurich will distribute their films jointly as Fox-Warner Switzerland, starting Monday.

Warner CEO Leo Baumgartner becomes CEO of the new entity. Fox’s Marc Maeder will be deputy managing director. Fox CEO Daniel Beier is exiting.

The new operation will be located at the Warner offices in Zurich, joining Buena Vista Intl. and United Intl. Pictures in the city.

Decision to link up seems to be purely for economic reasons. Fox has not done well since Columbia left Fox for BVI in 1999.

There are some 30 distribs in the small Swiss market, far too many players, according to execs. What’s more, films are released in the country’s three languages — German, French and Italian — adding to costs.

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