Marathon takes major stake in KM Prod'n


PARIS -- French audiovisual powerhouse Marathon Group has raced to snap up a controlling stake in Gallic TV production company KM, Marathon said Wednesday.

The French subsidiary of media group De Agostini Communications, Marathon will become the majority shareholder of KM, run by Renaud Le Van Kim who founded the company in 1994.

Van Kim and his team will maintain all autonomy for both creation and operations under the agreement. "This development brings together two major players operating in complementary areas of audiovisual content," Marathon said in a statement.

The new deal hopes to fuse KM's expertise in magazines and talk shows with Marathon's capabilities in the animation, documentary and games divisions.

Marathon Group was formed in 2006 to merge Gallic audiovisual companies Marathon, Marathon Media, Tele Images and Adventures Line Productions and now offers an extensive library of titles making their way around the international marketplace including "Totally Spies!" "Monster Buster Club" and "Atomic Betty."

KM specializes in entertainment programs including Canal Plus' hit nightly news and entertainment show "Le Grand Journal," public service network France 2's Sunday movie show "Dimanche 2 Cinema," last Friday's Cesar ceremony coverage and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Festival de Cannes.