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Banijay Sets Up New German Operation, With Marcus Wolter as Boss (EXCLUSIVE)

Banijay Group has brought its operations together in Germany and hired Marcus Wolter, previously with Endemol Shine, to run the unified group, Variety has learned. The new Banijay Germany combines production company Brainpool and Banijay’s existing German production operation.

The new Banijay Germany combines production company Brainpool and Banijay’s existing German production operation.

Wolter, who was chairman of Endemol Shine’s Northern Europe and Germany operations until late last year, will be CEO of Banijay Germany and become a shareholder in the new business.

Production and distribution group Banijay acquired a 50% share of Brainpool in 2009 and subsequently upped its stake in the company. News of the merged outfit broke as MipTV began to wind down in Cannes.

Marco Bassetti, CEO of the Banijay Group, said the new company was created to take better advantage of opportunities in the fast-changing German TV market.  “Our aim is to escalate the growth of our business across all genres to supply broadcasters and the many new multiplatform SVOD services in Germany with high-quality content,” he said.

He added that expansion plans are afoot. “We will achieve this by developing organically through our existing German production house Brainpool and by creating additional labels and companies that will operate alongside this established and award-winning producer,” Bassetti said. “Marcus is a truly inspirational guide and mentor, and we are delighted to have him lead and nurture our teams in this key reorganization at group level.”

Wolter exited Endemol Shine at the end of last year, after joining in 2008 and building up a business that now comprises a cluster of producers including Wiedemann & Berg, which makes buzzy Netflix series “Dark.”

He said the chance to build the German business for Banijay Group was too good to turn down. “To assemble a new, independent group of entertainment companies in Germany with Banijay is a one-time opportunity,” he said. “The DNA of Brainpool is about creativity and innovation, and it is regarded as the home base for much of the best talent in Germany.”

Wolter started his TV career at MME and was part of the team that launched the Viva music network. He worked at Brainpool and also at ProSiebenSat.1. Brainpool was founded in 1994 and is one of Germany’s major producers. Its shows include “Ladykracher,” “Beat Your Host,” “Stromberg,” and “Stars in Danger – The High Dive.”

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