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Sale of German Film Studio Fails

The future of Germany's largest film studio remains uncertain after talks over its planned sale collapsed Wednesday. Studio Hamburg, a prospective buyer and subsidiary of the government-owned television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk, apparently pulled out of takeover negotiations for Studio Babelsberg, which is located southwest of Berlin, due to financial demands by the studio's owner since 1992, Paris-based Vivendi Universal. Ulrich Junghans, economics minister of the state of Brandenburg described Studio Hamburg's pull-out as "a serious blow to the sale of Babelsberg" and urged it "to get back to the negotiating table." Babelsberg, which has produced more than 3,000 films since its founding in 1912, has not made a profit since the 1930s. In 2002, the most recent year for which figures are available, the studio made a loss of close to € 1 million ($1.23 million).

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