Germans buy majority stake in Budapest Film

By Dávid Dercsényi

    Ferenc Port, CEO of Budapest Film and Alexander van Dülmen, CEO of Germany's A Company Consulting and Licensing signed an agreement for the the German company to acquire a 51% stake in Budapest Film.

    Budapest Film (www.budapestfilm.hu) was founded in 1987 for distribution and operating cinemas. Last year it had 10% of the Hungarian market. Since 2004 it has exclusive rights to distribute the films of EEAP (Eastern European Acquisition Pool GmbH ) (http://www.eeap.de/), an affiliated firm of A Company. In 2007 Budapest Film founded the VoD provider filmklik (www.filmklik.hu), which offers more than 600 movies via internet. A Company acquired a 25.1% stake July 1, 2008. The Budapest Film also has a 54% stake of video and DVD broadcaster ASD ltd.

    A Company plans to release 25 titles annually and develop the VoD service.

    "The situtation is perfect for making Budapest Film the major distributor of independent films in Hungary," van Dülmen said. "Some bigger rivals of Budapest Film have retreated due to financial and other reasons, so Budapest Film remains the only major distributor company for Hungarian as well as foreign independent partners. With the support of A Company, there's a tremendous possibility to use the synergy of the company and build partnerships with all major Hungarian televisions."

    Ferenc said he was trusting that through this acquisition, Budapest Film's problems with film acquisitions would be solved, and the company could start developing in the radically changing film market of Europe. The cooperation would also bring higher quality films to the four cinemas run by Budapest Film.