Film Fans Win Shareholder Battle at Germany's Constantin

Courtesy of Sony Pictures
'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter'

The German mini-major, producers of the 'Resident Evil' franchise, voted to replace its entire supervisory board in a long-running struggle over the company's future direction.

The film geeks have beaten the jocks at Germany's Constantin Medien.

Two factions, each representing sizable shares in the company, have been struggling for more than a year over the company's long-term strategy.

One group, lead by executive Dieter Hahn, wanted to the group to spin off its film business — Constantin is one of Europe's leading producers, with local-language hits such as Fack Ju Goethe and Look Who's Back as well as international titles including the Resident Evil franchise — to focus on its smaller, but more profitable, sports business. Constantin owns Sport 1, a German ESPN-style TV channel, and TEAM, the Swiss-based group that handles the marketing rights for the UEFA Champions League, a European club soccer tournament.

The other faction, lead by Bernhard Burgener, a former Constantin Medien CEO, wanted to retain the film business, which still accounts for the largest share of Constantin's revenue.

On Wednesday, the film side won a major battle, replacing the entire supervisory board, including Hahn as head of the board, with a new pro-film group. Paul Graf, a supporter of Burgener's film team, is the Constantin Medien's new supervisory board director. Graf is managing director of Highlight Communications, the Swiss group that holds a 100 percent stake in Constantin's film and TV division, Constantin Film.

Fred Kogel, current CEO of Constantin Medien, and a backer of Hahn's sports-first strategy, has also announced he is stepping down from his position, effective September 22.


 

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