Intertainment insolvent

Move follows failure to pay HypoVereinsbank claim

German distrib Intertainment, financially strained from its legal battle against Franchise Pictures and Comerica Bank and facing a E10 million ($12.1 million) lawsuit from a German bank, has filed for insolvency.

Company said Friday that the move followed failed negotiations with various parties to pay the claim by the HypoVereinsbank.

Bank filed the suit against Intertainment in September to seek repayment of an outstanding loan, part of a $17 million credit line the bank had provided to an Intertainment subsid.

In the past few years, Intertainment has largely focused on its litigation against Elie Samaha and Franchise Pictures. The once high-flying rights trader claimed it had been defrauded into paying wildly inflated budgets on films including “Get Carter” and “The Whole Nine Yards.”

Intertainment won a $122 million damage claim against Franchise and Samaha in 2004, but Samaha’s company filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

A federal court this month denied a motion by Samaha for a new trial, setting the stage for an appeal.

Intertainment went public in 1999 at the height of Germany’s Neuer Markt bubble. Looking to distribute U.S. film rights, company saw its stock price soar to more than $100. On Friday, Intertainment shares fell more than 21% to 53¢.

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