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Germany’s Studio Babelsberg Acquired By Real Estate Group TPG – Global Bulletin

THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS, (aka THE MATRIX
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

STUDIO

Studio Babelsberg, the historic German studio that recently hosted “The Matrix Resurrections” production, has been acquired by TPG Real Estate Partners.

The company, which is part of global alternative asset firm TPG, first revealed plans to acquire a stake in the studio in September via TREP’s acquisition of Babelsberg’s main shareholder, Filmbetriebe Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB), which was controlled by Carl L. Woebcken and Christoph Fisser. As part of that deal, FBB launched a public tender offer to acquire a majority of the shares in Studio Babelsberg, which went through in October.

All closing conditions of the transaction have now been fulfilled, the companies have said, with Woebcken and Fisser continuing to hold a minority stake in the studio.

Studio Babelsberg now sits within TREP’s global studio platform, Cinespace Studios, which is the second largest sound stage operator in North America and, with Babelsberg in the fold, will now operate 90 stages. However, the German studio will continue to operate as an independent brand.

Founded in 1911, Babelsberg is one of the most prominent European film studios, and has hosted such productions as “Inglourious Basterds,” “V For Vendetta” and “Bridge of Spies.”

Michael Abel, partner at TREP, said: “Across the globe, Studio Babelsberg is known for its quality and as a symbol of Berlin’s and Brandenburg’s creative culture. With Studio Babelsberg, we saw an opportunity to invest behind a leading studio facility that is well positioned to benefit from secular growth trends in media and content consumption. We support the company’s strategy and direction and look forward to growing the business.”

Woebcken and Fisser added: “We are excited to announce a successful completion of the transaction, and to welcome TREP as Studio Babelsberg’s new partner. The team values our rich history and brings significant insight and business building capabilities to Studio Babelsberg’s next chapter. We look forward to working together to further solidify our position as Europe’s premier studio.”

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ABC

CONTENT DEAL

Entertainment One and Nordic Entertainment Group have revealed a multi-year agreement that will bring more than 700 hours of new and library content to the latter’s services in the Nordic and Baltic regions, Poland and the Netherlands. Content included in the deal includes “The Newsreader,” “Family Law,” “Moonshine,” “Private Eyes,” “Hell on Wheels,” “Saving Hope,” “Cardinal,” “Into the Badlands,” “Mary Kills People,” “Burden of Truth,” “Bitten,” “Ransom,” “Haven,” “Rookie Blue, “Deputy” and “Between Two Worlds.”

The deal was brokered by Suzanne Flowerday-Nilson, sales manager for eOne.

RELEASE

“Signal: The Movie,” a feature film based on a hit Japanese TV series and boasting a theme tune by Korea’s BTS, will get a digital and home entertainment release in North America in March. The release (as “Signal: The Movie Cold Case Investigation Unit”) is handled by Eleven Arts and Shout! Factory. The film, directed by Hashimoto Hajime (“Detective in the Bar,” “Aibou: The Movie IV”), involves two detectives, one from the past, one from the present, teaming up to explain the death of a high-ranking official in a car crash that might in fact be a case of police corruption. The film had its theatrical release in Japan in April 2021 through Toho. – Patrick Frater

VIRTUAL STUDIO

Korean games publisher Nexon has injected $12.6 million (KRW15 billion) into YNC&S, a virtual studio project that is a joint venture currently controlled by K-pop agency YG Entertainment, internet firm Naver, facial simulation player WYSIWYG Studios and extended reality tech firm NP. YNC&S aims to build two virtual production studios and three very large sound stages at the Rhythm City complex in Gyeonggi Province, near Seoul. The venture is expected to cost KRW250 billion ($208 million) and, on completion, will supply programming to streaming platforms and produce multimedia content for the metaverse. – Patrick Frater

ROUNDTABLE

Games designer Robin Hunicke, CEO of indie game studio Funomena, will deliver the keynote at the first OKRE Development Rooms event of 2022, on Jan. 26. The OKRE Development Rooms is a program of roundtables dedicated to developing new ideas and perspectives based in academic research and lived experience of creatives in the audiovisual industries organized by charity outfit Opening Knowledge Across Research and Entertainment (OKRE).

Meanwhile, former BBC executive Aradhna Tayal has joined OKRE as director of the OKRE Summit, a flagship event planned for summer 2022, which will bring together people from across the entertainment, research and social impact sectors.