'Carlos' Co-Producer Egoli Tossell Files for Insolvency, New Financier on Board

The group comes off of one its most productive years in terms of films released and honors won.


COLOGNE, Germany -- Egoli Tossell, the co-producer of Golden Globe-winning miniseries Carlos and the Oscar-nominated The Last Station, has filed for insolvency protection.

But the company, whose credits also include Paul Verhoeven's Black Book and Ashley Judd-starrer Helen, has signed a letter of intent with a Frankfurt equity investor that Egoli Tossel says will insure its future financial health.

Egoli Tossell filed for the German equivalent of Chapter 11 on Thursday. The group comes off of one its most productive years in terms of films released and honors won. But it was caught in a cash flow crunch as a result both of the global economic crisis and an overall decline in the market for the sort of art house fare Egoli Tossell is known for.

Co-managing director Jens Meurer said restructuring Egoli Tossell will likely take between three to four months after which the new investor will take a "substantial" equity stake in the company.

The group will announced further details next week at the Berlin Film Festival.

Meurer said the financial restructuring would not affect day-to-day operations and that films on Egoli Tossell's upcoming production slate, including costume drama Ivanhoe with Brit director Iain Softley and ambitious literary adaptation Hector and the Search for Happiness, were proceeding as planned.

Meurer said taking on an equity investor would add "entrepreneurial expertise" and provide new financing opportunities for the Berlin-based shingle.

"We're very proud, as a German company, to be making films that sell around the world and win SAG, Oscar and Golden Globe nominations," Meurer said. "But it's clear we also need to be a company that can refinance itself better."

Meurer said with the equity backing post Chapter 11, Egoli Tossell would be in a position to pony up 20 percent-25 percent financing for future productions.

Further plans would see the group expand into licensing and distribution to carve out a bigger chunk of the back end revenue of its films.