Leonine Holding

Leonine Holding GmbH, LLC, formerly Tele München Group, LLC (German: Tele München Gruppe; TMG), is a media company based in Munich.

Leonine Holding GmbH
FormerlyTele München Group
TypePrivate company
  • Universum Film GmbH (1979–2019)
  • Concorde Film/Filmverleih/Video/Home Entertainment (1980–2019)
Founded27 April 1970; 52 years ago (27 April 1970)
FounderWalter Ulbrich
HeadquartersMunich, Germany
Key people
  • Fred Kogel (CEO)
  • Markus Frerker (COO)
  • Joachim Scheuenpflug (CFO)
  • Bernhard zu Castell (chief distribution officer)[1]
Revenue€286 million[2] (2015)
€56 million[2] (2015)
ParentKKR European Fund IV

The activities of Leonine include trade in licenses, investments in television and radio stations and distribution and production of television films and movies.


Tele München GroupEdit

Former logo for Leonine Holding under Tele München Gruppe branding
Headquarters of TMG in Munich

The Tele München GmbH was founded on April 27, 1970, by author and producer Walter Ulbrich. It was purchased in 1977 by Herbert Kloiber and his business partner Fritz Buttenstedt. In 1980, the Concorde Filmverleih (Concorde film distribution) was founded and a year later, in 1981, the company acquired along with the cinema operator Hans-Joachim Flebbe several movie theaters in Hamburg, Berlin and Braunschweig.

TMG was partner at the television station Sat.1 in 1985; after a year, the company sold its shares and started the TV station musicbox. In the same year, TMG took over the Munich private radio station Radio Xanadu, which was later renamed to Radio Energy.

In 1987, Silvio Berlusconi’s company Fininvest acquired 50 percent of musicbox. This was the basis for the channel Tele 5. In 1988, Axel Springer Publishing House and CLT became partner at TMG. In 1989, 50 percent from the company were sold to Capital Cities / ABC.

1991 TMG sold its shares in Tele 5 to the Axel Springer Publishing House and in 1992 founded, together with CLT, Bertelsmann, Bauer Media Group and The Walt Disney Company, the TV channel RTL II. In 1995, the television station Tm3 was founded by TMG and the Bauer Media Group.[3]

In 1996, Herbert Kloiber bought back the TMG shares from Capital Cities / ABC, and took over the shares of Bauer Media Group on Tm3. In 1997, TMG participated in the Hungarian private broadcaster TV2.[4]

In 1998, Rupert Murdoch's company News Corporation took over 66 percent of Tm3 and two years later, in 2000, took over Tm3 completely.[5]

On 28 April 2002, the channel Tele 5 was restarted by TMG. TMG launched a streaming service, Filmtastic, in 2017.

Leonine HoldingsEdit

In February 2019, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) agreed to purchase TMG, with expected closing in April 2019. At closing, Fred Kogel's appointment as CEO would be effective.[6] KKR also agreed to purchase the Universum Film movie distributor from RTL Group days later, with the intent to combine the two companies.[7] i&u TV was acquired by April 2019, when the expanded TMG acquired Wiedemann & Berg. Wiedemann & Berg would continue its TV arm, W&B Television, as a joint venture with Endemol Shine Group. Founders Max Wiedemann and Quirin Berg would continue as managing directors of Wiedemann & Berg while adding the position of head of the group's feature film production division.[8]

The enlarged Tele München Group was renamed Leonine Holdings in September 2019, with three main divisions: Distribution, Production, & Licensing. The distribution division, consisting of multiple Munich-based film distributors & a home video outlet, as well the company's stakes in RTL II & Tele 5, would be operating under the Leonine Distribution division name as of January 1, 2020. The production division, consisting of film & television production companies, would be grouped under the Leonine Production division, while continuing their separate identities. While under Leonine Distribution, RTL II, Tele 5, & the subscription video on demand services would continue under their current names.[1] Leonine purchased Endemol Shine Group's share of Wiedemann & Berg Television.[9]


  • Leonine Licensing

Leonine DistributionEdit

  • TM Distribution
  • TM International
  • Concorde (Munich) film company[6]
  • Concorde Home Entertainment (Munich)[10]
  • Universum Film movie distribution[7] (former division of UFA GmbH subsidiary of RTL Group)


Leonine Holding formerly owned Tele 5 channel, which, since September 2020, is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Subscription video on demand channelsEdit

  • Filmtastic
  • Home of Horror
  • Arthouse CNM[1]

Leonine ProductionEdit

  • Clasart Film (Munich)
  • Clasart Television
  • Clasart Classic[10]
  • Odeon Film (85.23%)[11]
    • Odeon Fiction - fictional content for television, cinema and streaming platforms
    • Odeon Entertainment - reality entertainment, documentaries, and live broadcasts
  • i&u TV (April 2019—)
  • Mediawan & Leonine Studios (joint venture with Mediawan)
    • Drama Republic (51%)
  • SEO Entertainment
  • Wiedemann & Berg Film (April 2019—)
    • W&B Television

Other interestsEdit

  • Load Studios - digital media
  • Storied Media Group, media project development and packaging[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Barraclough, Leo (20 September 2019). "KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine". Variety. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "TMG financial year 2015". TMG. 20 July 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Gesellschafterstruktur" (in German). RTL II. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  4. ^ Ed Meza (6 April 2001). "Tele Munchen revs hit $194 mil on record sales". Variety. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Tele-München-Gruppe mit Rekordgewinn nach tm3-Verkauf" (in German). Handelsblatt. 5 April 2001.
  6. ^ a b c Wiseman, Andreas (February 21, 2019). "German Film & TV Powerhouse Tele München Gruppe Bought By Investment Firm KKR". Deadline. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (25 February 2019). "KKR Continues German Spree With Acquisition Of Key Film Distributor Universum". Deadline. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  8. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (8 April 2019). "KKR Continues German Buying Spree With 'Never Look Away' & 'The Lives Of Others' Producer Wiedemann & Berg". Deadline. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  9. ^ White, Peter (November 15, 2019). "Endemol Shine Sells 'Dark' & '4 Blocks' Producer Wiedemann & Berg Television To KKR-Backed Leonine". Deadline.
  10. ^ a b c "Activities". Tele München Gruppe. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  11. ^ Scott Roxborough (22 November 2011). "Herbert Kloiber's Tele-Munchen Group Ups Stake in Odeon Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 June 2015.

External linksEdit