Film players still hope to stock up in Teuton
The Neuer Markt hit its lowest point in over two years last week, yet international film players continue to scout for a home on the erstwhile hot German exchange.Artisan, Hallmark and Spyglass are eyeing public listings in Germany. Disney-based Spyglass has just announced plans to file for an IPO, probably sometime this summer. Hallmark Entertainment is in the process of hammering out a joint venture with German sale and leaseback company KGAL. The new venture could become a subsidiary of KGAL and then be floated in Germany. Deal expands an existing agreement between Hallmark and KGAL, which is backing several Hallmark projects, including “The Snow Queen” and “Dinotopia.” A Hallmark deal would be engineered through its subsidiary, Crown Media, which is already publicly traded on the Nasdaq market Stateside. Artisan, which has a number of irons in the fire, including merger talks with the World Wrestling Federation, is still considering a public offering on the German market. “I think you can see companies like Spyglass looking at the Neuer Markt rather than the Nasdaq because the players listed here are closer to their peer group,” says Merrill Lynch analyst Bernard Tubeileh. “Also, the investors here are well schooled in film so it’s not like you have to start from the beginning again.” Cineartists/Mandalay is another international entity poised to hit the public market here although the company recently postponed its January float date. It’s majority owned by Mandalay’s Peter Guber and Cineartists’ Philip Kreuzer. Lions Gate holds a minority stake. Munich-based 2k Media, which owns majority stakes in Brad Krevoy’s MPCA, David Kirkpatrick’s Original Voice and Roland Joffe’s Lightmotiv, is waiting to see if the market picks up before going public.