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Schuermann quits Intermedia

Internationalmedia losses mount

BERLIN — Martin Schuermann has ankled his post as CEO and chairman of L.A.-based Intermedia Film Equities USA.

Intermedia’s Munich-based parent Internationalmedia on Thursday announced Schuermann’s decision, stressing that the former topper “was not terminated nor did the company plan to take legal action toward him. Mr. Schuermann resigned for personal reasons since he felt that it was time for him to go back to his creative roots and be involved with the actual process of filmmaking.”

Schuermann, who actually resigned retroactively, effective Nov. 2, headed Internationalmedia from 2005 until July of this year. He remained chief exec of Intermedia Film Equities but was suspended from that post in September following the cancellation of Jan de Bont’s “Stopping Power,” which collapsed in August when one of the film’s main backers pulled out of the project.

The fiasco has cost Internationalmedia dearly and put the future of the company in question.

The group posted a nine-month net loss of Euros 12.8 million ($18.7 million) compared with a $5.4 million loss in the same period last year.

Much of that deficit is attributable to the collapse of “Stopping Power,” which cost Internationalmedia $11.5 million.

Company, whose revenue plummeted 72% to $18.7 million, said its available cash had “reached a critical size to the point that it threatens its continued operations” as a result of the cancellation of “Stopping Power.”

However, the group’s new CEO, Konstantin Thoeren, is looking to shift Internationalmedia’s focus toward production of its own developed projects, and feature and TV productions from third parties, while working with outside partners to handle financing and sales.

To that end, company has sold off its distribution arm IM Global last month, inked a deal with Capitol Films to oversee sales and distribution of its film library titles, and formed a partnership with L.A.-based R Media Acquisitions to handle joint productions, including “Stopping Power,” which R Media bailed out.

Internationalmedia was hit hard by the German government’s 2005 ban on tax-sheltering film funds, which financed some of Intermedia’s biggest productions, including “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” “Alexander” and “Aviator.”

Company has since focused on smaller, less costly productions. It’s latest releases include Richard Shepard’s “The Hunting Party,” starring Richard Gere, and Andrew O’Conner’s low-budget British comedy “Musicians.”

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