Film house inks pact for entertainment unit

BERLIN — Constantin Film has taken over TV production outfit Kirch Media Entertainment, one of the remaining assets of insolvent TV group Kirch Media, for 4.5 million euros ($5 million).

Move widens Constantin’s operations from film production and distribution to TV, a specialty of Constantin CEO Fred Kogel. Kogel already owns 30% of KME, which he launched in 2001 while serving as programming chief at Kirch Media. Constantin will now own 61%, with the remaining 9% held by KME’s management.

The shingle, which is being rechristened Constantin Entertainment, has become one of Germany’s main producers of format shows such as court skeins “Das Strafgericht” on RTL and Sat1’s “Richter Alexander Hold” as well as Sat1’s docu-fiction law series “Lenssen und Partner.”

Constantin’s purchase of KME had been expected since Kogel took the top job at the film group in April. It’s Kirch Media’s first major divestment since the sale of its TV group ProSiebenSat.1 to Haim Saban in August.

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