VCL Film files for insolvency

Veteran German distributor VCL Film + Medien

COLOGNE, Germany -- Veteran German distributor VCL Film + Medien has filed for insolvency protection after negotiations with British and Scandinavian partners failed to produce the deal needed to keep the company afloat.

VCL with its flamboyant CEO Datty Ruth were once one of the Germany's leading video companies, releasing top-tier titles such as "Dances With Wolves" and the "Terminator" franchise. But the company has been treading water for years, branching out into exercise and self-help videos in an effort to generate cash flow.

Earlier this year, VCL signed a letter of intent with U.K. group SpiritOn and Scandinavian firm CCV Entertainment. CCV said it was interested in taking a direct stake in VCL pending the due-diligence process.

But it was not to be.

VCL, which Ruth launched in 1981, will now go through the German equivalent of Chapter 11. At the time of its insolvency filing, VCL employed all of four people.