The future of Germany’s most famous film studio is uncertain. As BZ learned, the bosses are negotiating with a foreign investor.
By Michael Sauerbier and Peter Tiede
From a participation to the (partial) sale, everything is included. By the end of the year, it should be clear what will become of the world stars’ studio.
Marlene Dietrich and Heinz Rühmann, Winfried Glatzeder and Angelika Domröse, Kate Winslet and Brad Pitt: In the Potsdam studios, the biggest movie stars have been in front of the camera since 1912. Liam Neeson is currently shooting the thriller “Retribution”, Netflix the series “1899” for emigrants, and ARD is shooting the new season of “Babylon Berlin”.
“Despite Corona, business is going well,” says studio boss Carl Woebcken (64), “we have hired new employees.” The corporation made a profit of eleven million euros in 2020.
But when asked about BZ, he admits: “We are in negotiations with a European investor. The aim is to expand and internationalize the studio. “
Babelsberg needs money to keep up in the race for series and large-scale productions. Woebcken also does not rule out the sale of shares or an entire AG, says: “This can also lead to a shift in the ownership structure.”
The rumor has been circulating for a long time that Woebcken and his partner Christoph Fisser (61) wanted to sell the studios, which they took over in 2004 for 1 euro.
The negotiations are known to the Brandenburg Ministry of Economics. Minister Jörg Steinbach (65, SPD): “I expect that the Babelsberg studio location and the existing workplaces will be retained.”