Private equity firm KKR has bought leading German film production company Wiedemann & Berg Film, which produced Oscar-winning film “The Lives of Others” and Oscar-nominated pic “Never Look Away.” The purchase follows KKR’s recent acquisitions of three other heavyweight German film and TV companies, Tele München Gruppe, Universum Film and i&u TV.
W&B Film, TMG, Universum Film and i&u TV will form part of an as yet unnamed German media company, which will encompass production, licensing and distribution. Max Wiedemann and Quirin Berg, managing directors of Wiedemann & Berg Film, will be in charge of the feature film production division, while Fred Kogel will serve as the CEO of the new company.
W&B Television, Wiedemann and Berg’s joint venture with EndemolShine, will continue to run as a separate entity. W&B Television produced “Dark,” Netflix’s first German original series, and “Pagan Peak” for Sky Germany.
Philipp Freise, head of the European technology, media and telecommunications industry team at KKR, said the acquisition completed “the first stage of our company’s development.” He added: “Now, we will focus on combining the expertise and know-how of all four companies […] to create something truly innovative. Our goal has always been to build an entertainment house for audio-visual content, not just to buy individual companies.”