KKR Buys 'Never Look Away' Production Company Wiedemann & Berg Film

Caleb Deschanel, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
'Never Look Away'

The private equity group adds the film production company to its growing stable of German media properties, which also include Tele-Munchen Group and Universum.

Private equity group KKR has bought its fourth German media company, acquiring Wiedemann & Berg, producers of the Oscar-winning film The Lives of Others and recent Oscar nominee Never Look Away. The deal follows a string of acquisitions as KKR aims to create a major independent German media company.

Company founders Max Wiedemann and Quirin Berg will remain on board as managing directors and join the new media group as head of its feature film production division.

In addition to The Lives of Others and Never Look Away, Wiedemann & Berg have produced a string of German-language hits including Men in the City, Who am I and Welcome to Germany. Their small-screen division, W&B Television, a joint venture with EndemolShine, will continue to run in parallel.

The latest acquisition follows deals by KKR to acquire production and distribution groups Tele Munchen and Universum and television production company i&u TV. KKR's stated strategy is to combine the companies to get a strong independent production and distribution company to serve the German-language market.

Fred Kogel, CEO of the new, as-yet-unnamed media group, said with the acquisition of Wiedemann & Berg, the first stage of that plan is now complete.