Strategic alliance signed with Seven Network as new German arm launches
Granada Media has firmed up its international expansion drive by signing a strategic alliance with Australia's Seven Network and opening the doors of its new German subsidiary in Berlin and Cologne, writes Tim Dams.

The Australian deal sees the new joint-venture becoming the country's largest TV production house, combining Granada's Australian TV production company, Artist Services, with Seven Network's existing in-house production arm. Granada will also pay£56 million for a 9.1 per cent stake in Seven Network.

The 50:50 joint-venture will begin trading in March with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Artist Services chairman Steve Vizard will head the operation, with international distribution handled by Granada international sales.

In Germany, Granada Produktion fur Film und Fernsehen GmbH officially opened its doors for business this week, with offices in Cologne and Berlin. It is fronted by the former managing director of Tele Munchen's production division, Rikolt von Gagern.