Musical producer Stella on the block

Entertainment group took in $388 mil in '97

BERLIN — Stuttgart businessman Rolf Deyhle is being forced to sell entertainment group Stella AG, German newspapers reported last week.

Stella is Germany’s leading producer of musicals, taking in DM597 million ($388 million) last year with such productions as “Cats,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Beauty and the Beast.”

Stella had hoped to go public this year, but has canceled those plans in light of the company’s financial difficulties. The group recently shed its 50% stake in Hamburg-based movie theater chain Flebbe.

According to dailies Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Deyhle is negotiating with banks over the sale of Stella. Most of Stella’s shares are reportedly mortgaged to banks. Deyhle is also involved in the film and real estate businesses.

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