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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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