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German firms christen new studio

The new German studio being formed from the merger of Tele München Group (TMG), Universum Film, i&u TV and Wiedemann & Berg Film, has confirmed its name.

The group, which is being established by New York-based investment firm KKR following its spree of acquisitions, starting with TMG in February, will be called Leonine.

Leonine is led by CEO Fred Kogel, COO Dr Markus Frerker, CFO Joachim Scheuenpflug and chief distribution officer Bernhard zu Castell. The holding bundles Leonine’s business into three areas: Leonine Production, Leonine Distribution and Leonine Licensing.

Leonine’s production companies, including Wiedemann & Berg Film, Odeon Film and i&u TV, television brand Tele 5 and SVoD channels Filmtastic, Home of Horror and Arthouse CNMA will retain their existing names. TMG-backed RTL2 will also remain unaffected by the renaming.

The other distribution and licensing companies will operate under the Leonine brand from the beginning of 2020. These include Tele München with its affiliates TM International, Concorde Filmverleih and Concorde Home Entertainment, as well as Universum Film.

Kogel said: “When choosing the new brand as our company name, the following aspects were decisive for us: it should reflect our ties to our home region of Bavaria and Munich, it has got to work internationally and the trademark rights have to be available.

“With Leonine we have found a link to Bavaria with its heraldic animal, the lion. The English meaning of the word ‘leonine’ is ‘lion-like’ and describes for us above all an attitude – courage, energy, confidence and a strong sense for team play.”

Leonine revealed a host of appointments to its licensing team last month.


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