Intertainment Subsidiary Files for Bankruptcy After Losing Comercia Case

A California judge has ordered Intertainment to pay Comercia around $9 million in court costs.

COLOGNE, Germany – Phoenix Media (formerly called Intertainment Licensing), a subsidiary of German group Intertainment, has filed for insolvency protection after Intertainment lost its long-running suit against Beverly Hills’ film financier Comerica Bank. Earlier this month, a California court has ruled in favor of Comerica and made Intertainment liable for the bank’s court costs in the decade-long suit, estimated to run to around $9 million.

Intertainment had accused Comerica of complicity in fraud connected to film produced by Elie Samaha’s Franchise Pictures and partially financed by the German group.

Intertainment won a $121.7 million case against Samaha and Franchise in 2004. The court found that Franchise had fraudulently inflated the budgets of films Intertainment co-financed, including The Whole Nine Yards and Get Carter. Franchise filed for bankruptcy and Samaha eventually settled with Intertainment for a mere $3 million.

Intertainment’s litigation against Comercia claimed the bank was also liable in Samaha’s fraud because it approved completion bonds based on Franchise’s dodgy budgets. While Intertainment was once a film production and financing group, it’s sole purpose is now to carry out a series of suits against U.S. companies.