Wild Bunch, Senator partner

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Wild Bunch, the French film company behind this year's Palme d'Or winner "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," is embarking on a global relationship with Germany's Senator Entertainment that ranges from distribution in Germany to co-productions and feature film financing.

The deal calls for Wild Bunch and Senator to form a joint distribution venture in Germany, with Wild Bunch acquiring 50% of Senator's shares of Central Film Verleih GmbH. Subsequently, Central Film Verleih will release Wild Bunch films acquired for direct distribution in German cinemas as well as on video and TV via Senator.

The relationship was unveiled Monday in Paris and Berlin by Wild Bunch CEO Vincent Grimond and Senator Entertainment CEOs Helge Sasse and Marco Weber.

In September, Wild Bunch raised €25 million and launched a €110 million film finance venture with U.S. investment fund Continental Entertainment Capital, an affiliate of Citi. In October, Wild Bunch took a minority stake in leading Italian indie distrib BIM Distribuzione.

"Following its operations in France, Italy and Benelux, Wild Bunch takes another important step in the establishing of its European distribution network," Grimond said of the new Senator relationship. "Germany is a key component in the development and consolidation of this strategy, and it was vital that Wild Bunch address this market with the right partner, one with whom further cooperation had to be possible."

Added Sasse and Weber: "In the course of Senator's internationalization strategy, we have succeeded in finding a premium European partner: Wild Bunch. As a joint venture, Central Film is a perfect fit for our promising partnership."
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