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New German studio reveals licensing setup

Sanctuary is among the as-yet-unnamed company’s library of titles

The new German studio set to be formed from the merger of Tele MünchenGroup (TMG), Universum Film, i&u TV and Wiedemann & Berg Film has revealed the structure of its licensing division.

The as-yet-unnamed company, which is being established by New York-based investment firm KKR following its spree of acquisitions that began with TMG in February, will have a library of more than 7,000 titles.

This includes series such as Sanctuary, international coproductions Professionals and Spy City, and forthcoming feature films including Moonfall.

Fred Kogel, CEO of the group, will assume overall responsibility for the licensing division, having been active in the distribution business for more than 20 years.

Alexander Janssen will report to Kogel as senior VP of acquisitions, taking responsibility for film acquisitions alongside the CEO. Janssen was previously head of international acquisitions for Universum Film.

Cosima von Spreti will be responsible for national and international co-financing and coproductions as head of co-finance and coproduction.

The acquisitions team will be supported by Thomas Augsberger and his company Eden Rock Media in LA. Augsberger has been advising TMG in the acquisition of feature films and the development of film and series coproductions for several years. He will remain the primary contact for US-based licensing and production partners.

A new senior VP of sales will be appointed this year, with Kogel temporarily leading the sales department in the meantime. Myriam Gauff will support Kogel as senior sales manager in Germany.

The heads of digital distribution, Marc Arndt, with a focus on digital sales and marketing, and Danny Humphreys, with a focus on business intelligence, aggregation and channels, will report to Kogel on rights sales to digital platforms.

Thomas Müller has been named head of the newly created licence services division to support licence acquisitions and sales.

Giannina Antola, head of international sales at the world sales unit of TM International, will remain in charge of international programme sales.

Kogel said: “With the creation of the licensing division next to the production and distribution divisions, we have reached an important milestone in our restructuring. This unit is one of the core business areas of the new group.

“With our premium new product as well as our extensive and high-quality rights library, we are able to create a custom-made offer for every programme provider, be it free TV broadcasters, pay TV broadcasters or OTT platforms.”

The new company plans to buy and produce feature films, series and TV shows and exploit this content across theatres, digital services, home entertainment and TV channels.

Last month it added Studio71 co-founder Christian Meinberger as chief digital officer and earlier this week it appointed Bernhard zu Castell as chief distribution officer. Yesterday it was announced that Herbert Kloiber Jr, MD of TMG, would be leaving the firm as a result of the merger.

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