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COLOGNE, Germany – Russian producer and media mogul Alexander Rodnyansky has taken majority control of German licensing and distribution group A Company, acquiring a 51 percent stake in the firm through his company AR Films.
Rodnyansky, for years CEO of Russia’s CTC Media, is one of the country’s most successful producers, with credits that include local blockbusters The Inhabited Island and 9th Company and Oscar-nominees East/West and A Chef in Love.
He will become supervisory board chairman of A Company. A Company founder Alexander van Dulmen will stay on as CEO and has increased his personal stake in the firm to over 25 percent. Other A Company shareholders include Tomasz Karczewski, owner of Polish distribution company Kino Swiat and U.S. investment group Aramid.
A Company is an umbrella firm with controlling or partnership stakes in several licensing and distribution outfits across Central and Eastern Europe, among them Berlin-based EEAP, Hungary’s Budapest Film and Gala Media in Russia.
The group has had financial difficulties in the past, but is currently riding high on the success of recent acquisition The King’s Speech. The Oscar-winner has so far grossed more than $10 million in theatrical release in Eastern and Central Europe, a record for an A Company acquisition.
With Rodnyansky’s fresh cash injection, A Company is planning to snap up further distribution operations in Russia and Eastern Europe and to roll out local versions of Hungarian VOD platform filmklik, which it controls together with Hungary’s port.hu.
A Company is also expanding into production, most recently co-producing the feature Run, Boy Run from German director Pepe Danquart together with Berlin-based operation bittersuss pictures.
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