Hollywood is circling Germany’s Constantin Film.
Rumors have abounded in recent months that the Teutonic shingle, home to producer Bernd Eichinger (“Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” “Downfall”), is for sale, with Universal and Paramount said to be among the suitors.
Universal was granted an exclusive period in which to negotiate a deal, which expired with no sale inked, according to sources. U execs would neither confirm nor deny this.
“The rumors are all over the place but it’s all speculation,” said one Universal exec, who insisted on anonymity.
Others say Paramount also took a close look at Constantin, although Par execs flatly denied this.
Execs at Constantin and parent company Highlight were unavailable for comment.
A sale of Munich-based Constantin has been in the cards since September after EM.Sport acquired a 25.1% stake in Highlight, which also manages the UEFA Champions League soccer competition.
EM.Sport (formerly known as EM.TV) has made licensing, production and broadcast of sports its core business. It is selling its kids’ programming distribution and production unit EM.Entertainment, which illustrates its desire to jettison non-core businesses and must add to conjecture that Constantin will go, too.
However, EM.Sport topper Werner Klatten has said Constantin will remain part of an EM.Sport-Highlight union.A further sign of flux was last month’s surprise departure of Thomas Friedl, Constantin’s head of distribution, who ankled after 18 years to join RTL Group’s new production and distribution group UFA Cinema.