×

MMC Studios, One of Germany’s Biggest Production Facilities, Changes Hands

Germany’s MMC Studios, which has hosted such recent international productions as Joseph Gordon-Levitt thriller “7500” and Marco Bellocchio’s Cannes competition film “The Traitor,” is changing hands.

Frankfurt-based investment company Novum Capital has acquired the facility in Cologne, one of Germany’s biggest film and TV studios, from Luxembourg private equity fund Lenbach Equity Opportunities I. The transaction was announced Wednesday, a day after its completion. Novum plans to merge MMC with its subsidiary Crosscast, a production company specializing in live broadcasts.

While MMC remains a leading studio and financing partner for film producers, it also boasts increasing TV business, with hit shows such as RTL’s “Let’s Dance” and ProSieben’s “The Masked Singer,” which are both broadcast live from the studio. The company saw 60% growth in show productions last year, from 190 to 320, of which 37 were broadcast live.

“The merger will provide new growth impulses based on the strong existing studio business,” Novum said in a statement.

The company said it planned to expand MMC’s business operations “in the field of external transmission.” Crosscast managing directors Jens Wolf and Hacik Kölcü will support MMC’s managing team, which includes MD Philip Borbély, who also co-heads the studio’s co-production division, MMC Movies Köln, with Bastie Griese.

Munich-based DUBAG Investment Advisory advised the Lenbach fund on the acquisition and re-orientation of MMC over the past few years. DUBAG partner Michael Schumann described Novum as “a proven growth expert” that would use Crosscast to strategically develop MMC.

“Arctic” helmer Joe Penna is set to shoot his sci-fi thriller “Stowaway,” starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette, at MMC in July. Los Angeles-based XYZ Films is co-producing the film with Cologne-based Augenschein Filmproduktion and Berlin’s Rise Pictures.

Augenschein also produced Patrick Vollrath’s “7500,” which hits German theaters July 18 via Universum Film. Amazon Studios holds worldwide rights to “7500” outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Other notable films that have shot at MMC include Bille August’s “55 Steps,” starring Helena Bonham Carter and Hilary Swank; Jim Jarmusch’s vampire drama, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” with Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton; Vibeke Idsøe’s “The Lion Woman”; and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 classic, “Amélie.”

MMC is among Germany’s biggest studios, along with Studio Babelsberg outside of Berlin and Bavaria Studios near Munich.

More Film

  • Themba-Bhebhe

    Durban FilmMart’s Themba Bhebhe on Diversity: ‘We Are At a Crossroads’

    DURBAN–A new thematic strand at this year’s Durban FilmMart, Engage @ DFM, offers a series of think tanks and in-depth discussions concerning diversity and de-colonial approaches to and models for filmmaking. To head up the new initiative, the DFM tapped guest curator Themba Bhebhe, who has led the Diversity & Inclusion initiative at the last two editions of [...]

  • Durban Film Festival 2019 / Copyright

    South African Creatives Grapple Over Copyright Amendment Bill

    DURBAN–The South African government is planning to update its four-decade-old copyright legislation, but what that means for filmmakers was up for debate during a contentious and often heated session at the Durban FilmMart this week. While the Copyright Amendment Bill awaits the signature of President Cyril Ramaphosa, industry stakeholders remain divided over how the proposed [...]

  • 'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office

    'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office With Dazzling Debut at $180 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has jolted the North American box office back to life with an opening weekend in the $180 million range, estimates showed Saturday. “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and could replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched last year with $182.7 million, as the ninth biggest North American [...]

  • 'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in

    'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in Hospital After Stabbing

    Hugely popular Hong Kong actor, Simon Yam was stabbed while on stage Saturday at a presentation in Zhongshan, Guangdong province in southern China. He is in hospital recovering. The incident happened at the opening of a branch of the Beijing Easyhome building materials company, where Yam was a guest. A man was seen rushing on [...]

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolosnaro attends the

    Bolsonaro Threatens Brazil’s Central Film Fund with Censorship or Closure

    In typical shoot-from-the-hip remarks, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has declared that Ancine, Brazil’s powerful state-backed federal film agency, should accept “filters”or face closure. “If it can’t have a filter, we’ll close Ancine, or privatize it,” Bolsonaro added, attacking Ancine, which plows some $300 million a year into Brazil’s film and TV industries, for supporting [...]

  • TSOM-MASK

    Director Sara Gouveia on ‘Looking At Resilience Through Art’

    DURBAN–The Mapiko dance of Mozambique’s indigenous Makonde people was long used as a tool for social commentary. But during the colonial era it became an act of political resistance, prompting the Portuguese to stamp it out during Mozambique’s 10-year war for independence. Decades later, the art has been revived as a celebration of freedom. For [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content