You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Constantin future resolved

Eichinger, Highlight to run company together

BERLIN — Bernd Eichinger and Swiss distrib Highlight Communications managed to avoid a war for Constantin Film Thursday by striking a 10- year shareholding partnership to run Germany’s leading production and distribution company.

Agreement neutralizes Highlight’s hostile takeover, which was triggered in April when Highlight boosted its total holding in Constantin to 41% with the acquisition of a minority stake held by TV license trader EM.TV. It’s now in the process of making an offer to Constantin’s minority shareholders for the rest of the company stock.

Move is seen as a win for Eichinger, who was in danger of losing control of the company he’s run since 1979. The pact also insures Constantin’s independence while giving Highlight a majority of the company shares.

Highlight agreed to a number of concessions in order to avoid a prolonged battle with Eichinger and Constantin’s management that could have ultimately meant Eichinger’s exit from the company.

Deal, which Constantin said secures the company’s long-term strategy, calls for Eichinger and Highlight to pool their share holdings in Constantin. The two will jointly make the mandatory offer of €4.50 ($5.30) per share to Constantin’s minority shareholders. However, Highlight has agreed to carry all the costs for the tendered shares by itself.

The agreement, which expires in 2013, also gives Eichinger a blocking minority. Highlight will be limited to a majority of up to 50.1% of Constantin. Any more shares it may acquire through the mandatory tender will have to be sold on the stock market.

In addition, Highlight chief executive Bernhard Burgener is to step down from Constantin’s supervisory board but Eichinger will remain in his post as supervisory board chairman. Highlight will nevertheless appoint three members to the six-member board. Eichinger will be able to name two, including himself, while the sixth member will be jointly named.

“The management welcomes the pool agreement between Bernd Eichinger and Highlight Communications,” said Constantin chief executive Fred Kogel. “The strategy plan insures the successful corporate development [of Constantin].”

Kogel expressed disappointment with the price of $5.30 per share that Highlight would offer to minority shareholders. Highlight originally wanted to offer shareholders $4.25 — the price per share it paid for EM.TV’s 16.4% stake in April.

Constantin shares rose nearly 7% to $5.32 following news of the deal, which is subject to approval by Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

More Film

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Ventana Sur: Aparicio Garcia Pitches Sports

    Uruguay’s Aparicio Garcia Pitches Sports Journalism Dark Comedy ‘Matufia’

    Uruguay’s Aparicio García impressed with his one-of-kind debut earlier this year, the grindhouse rural mobster comedy “La noche que no se repite,” and the filmmaker has now participated in Ventana Sur’s Proyecta section with his next project, the dark comedy thriller “Matufia.” García’s Isla Patrulla is so far the only producer, but his participation at [...]

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content