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Endemol to sell Helkon stake

Move welcomed by distrib, removes market uncertainty

BERLIN — Holland’s Endemol Entertainment announced Tuesday that it was selling its 23% stake in German film distributor Helkon Media back to the company.

Helkon immediately placed the majority of the shares with international management funds, taking some back into the hands of the management to increase its hold to 37%.

Endemol initially took a 51% stake in Helkon Media at a time when the company was just considering the option of going public. Endemol reduced its stake to 25% when Helkon went public last year.

Last week’s DM11 million ($5.2 million) capital increase at Helkon reduced the Endemol stake yet further to 23%.

Move helps Helkon

Helkon Media welcomed the move, saying it improved the investor structure and removed market uncertainty with respect to the role played in Helkon Media by Endemol and its new owner Telefonica.

“A broad base of international institutional investors will ensure greater foreign coverage, and this will significantly help our plans for international expansion,” said executive board member Mark Ramakers.

Helkon’s shares closed down 7% Tuesday.

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