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German media giants go public

MUNICH: German media companies are finding stock market listings increasingly attractive. Following in the footsteps of EM.TV & Merchandising and Pro Sieben, Igel Media and Ravensburger Film + TV are the latest with IPO plans....
April 1, 1999

MUNICH: German media companies are finding stock market listings increasingly attractive. Following in the footsteps of EM.TV & Merchandising and Pro Sieben, Igel Media and Ravensburger Film + TV are the latest with IPO plans.

With a library containing 50% animation and children’s programming and 50% documentaries, Hamburg-based Igel Media’s listing on the Hamburg exchange this month is the culmination of 16 years’ hard work. ‘We will be able to play a far stronger role in co-production and retain more rights,’ says Igel’s founder and CEO Christian Lehmann-Feddersen. ‘We’ll also be able to speed up projects already in development and cast a wider net when looking for new ones.’

Igel currently has program stocks of 4,000 hours and is floating just under 50% of the company in the form of 1.35 million shares. The issue, which targets both small and institutional investors, aims to bring in US$36 million to US$38 million.

Sources says that some of the monies raised might be used to fund the animated feature A Christmas Carol, currently in pre-production.

Ravensburger Film + TV is also planning to go public in the the next couple of months, but with bank negotiations still ongoing, the company could not release any details. Managing director Peter Hille would say this: ‘The proceeds will further expansion in the kids and family market, especially at the international level. In the past, we’ve been very German- and Europe-oriented. Now we will look further abroad at markets like North America. Our latest series Fix & Foxi is aimed at the global market.’ Nor does he rule out future acquisitions, so long as they fit within the company’s portfolio.

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