Eichinger highlights his stake

New agreement gives co., founder the right to a deal

BERLIN — Constantin Film founder Bernd Eichinger has agreed to give Swiss entertainment group Highlight Communications first option on his 25% of the company. Highlight already owns 58% of Constantin.

Deal ends a spat that began after Highlight’s new majority shareholder, Florian Homm, recommended that Constantin be integrated into a Highlight holding and delisted from the stock market — which Eichinger is said to have opposed.

New agreement gives Highlight and Eichinger the right to a deal as of Jan. 1.

Highlight has agreed to pay E11.27 ($13.69) per share, either in Highlight stock or cash. Constantin shares are currently selling at $12.81.

Highlight also will offer Eichinger a multiyear contract as producer and consultant.

Merging the publicly listed Highlight and Constantin would cut the administrative costs of having two affiliated companies on the stock market and allow further integration of the companies’ divisions.

Highlight added that it had not decided whether to buy Eichinger’s stake or delist the company.

Constantin, which is currently producing “Perfume,” has been publicly listed since 1999.

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