Accountants will investigate the financial records of leading Irish firm Octagon Films, a producer on hit series such as Vikings and The Tudors and movies such as Calvary, in the latest twist to a lengthy legal battle between the company’s founders and its German shareholder W2 Filmproduktion.
W2, a 49% shareholder in Octagon since 2002, alleges that producers Morgan O’Sullivan and James Flynn diverted tens of millions of euros out of the company to either themselves or entities controlled by them. O’Sullivan and Flynn strongly deny the allegations, which are being contested in Dublin’s High Court.
W2, overseen by CEO Winfried Hammacher (The Liberator), is seeking transparency over Octagon’s records, income and fees as part of the case and accountants have now been appointed by both sides in the dispute.
In a statement of claim first submitted at the end of 2017, W2 estimated that its losses run to €40M ($45M) based on the budgets of 113 productions. In addition to denying this claim, O’Sullivan and Flynn, who are 51% shareholders in Octagon, have said in court documents that money claimed to be due was separate to the intended scope of its business.
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Last month an Irish judge approved a freeze of assets of the two producers after Hammacher claimed that they were likely to dissipate or dispose of assets.
Octagon is among the most successful production companies in Ireland with credits including Vikings, The Tudors, Love/Hate, Penny Dreadful and The Borgias. Flynn is a producer on movies including Neil Jordan’s Greta and John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, while O’Sullivan was a co-producer on films such as Leap Year, P.S I Love You and Becoming Jane.
The internationally under-the-radar case is due to return to court in February of next year but if the accountants don’t agree on findings there is an option to return sooner. Neither party was available for comment when contacted by Deadline.
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