German group ups licensing activity

BERLIN — German entertainment group OpenPictures has brokered an acquisitions deal with Munich-based distrib Intertainment for a package of films that it immediately offloaded onto Austrian pubcaster ORF.

Volker Hempfling, head of sales at OpenPictures, said the sale constituted a “consistent and successful further development” of the company’s licensing business.

The TV rights bundle, which includes Agnieszka Holland’s “The Third Miracle” and George Zaloom’s “The Whole Shebang,” might not be the last acquisition OpenPictures makes at Intertainment. OpenPictures chief exec Stefan Piech has said his company is considering taking a 25% share in the distribution company. Also an active producer and financier, OpenPictures last year formed a wide-ranging partnership with Intertainment that included assistance in Intertainment’s current legal battle with Franchise Pictures over alleged inflated budgets on a slate of films it had agreed to finance.

The OpenPictures deal comes days after Intertainment announced it was ending its output agreement with Kopelson Entertainment due to cost-cutting measures. Intertainment’s ongoing litigation against Franchise as well as its lack of marketable product has continued to dent company’s finances. Intertainment shares are currently trading at 4.10 euros ($5.27).

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