Senator buys Weltruf TV prod'n shingle


BERLIN -- German media group Senator is continuing on its shopping spree, on Thursday acquiring boutique television production company Weltruf TV.

The Cologne-based shingle was set up in 1999 by controversial German VJ Niels Ruf and partner Stefan Kiwit. The company specializes in cutting-edge TV formats as well as music videos, commercials and production for mobile devices.

Earlier this week, Senator acquired a minority stake in rights group A Company, with an option to take majority control in the Berlin-based operation, which specializes in distribution in Eastern Europe.

Senator has a separate joint venture with French sales giant Wild Bunch but Wild Bunch is not a party to the A Company deal.

Senator is moving quickly to establish itself in television production to balance the more risky aspects of the company's bread-and-butter film production and distribution business.

Last summer Senator acquired Cologne-based production house Pro TV and just last week the group signed a three-year co-production agreement with director Wolfgang Petersen to produce big budget English-language miniseries.