EVA takes majority stake in Atlas Int'l Film


BERLIN -- German financing company Entertainment Value Associates, a division of independent production house Odeon Film AG, has acquired 51% of world sales group Atlas International Film.

Atlas will act as a world sales arm for EVA, adding about 500 theatrical and television titles from EVA's 12 film-fund portfolios to its roster. Atlas founder Dieter Menz and his two sons will continue to manage the company, together with EVA managing director Kai-Roger Grunecke.

The team will have its first joint-market debut in October at MIPCOM in Cannes. Grunecke hinted that the company will announce a slate of new international co-productions there.

"(Atlas) has an outstandingly functioning infrastructure and, furthermore, a comprehensive controlling structure for film sales. Together with Atlas as a strong partner, we will be creating the best prerequisites for also substantially increasing our effectiveness for the sales of the 12 film fund portfolios managed by EVA," Gruneke said in a statement.

Atlas president Stefan Menz added: "A family owned company like ours has certain opportunities for growth, and I think we've gotten to a point where we can grow further by getting together with strategic partners. EVA strengthens us with product from their portfolio, but also gives us access to financial markets, which is also very important for growth for our field -- sales -- but also production."

According to Menz, EVA Distribution, the company's existing sales outfit, will continue to exist and work closely with Atlas. EVA was founded in September 2006 by David Groenewold and Kai-Roger Gruneke as a consultancy firm for German film funds. The company acquired Atlas through its subsidiary EVA Finance.