Klein Waits On Justice

ACT Entertainment chief Hermjo Klein is waiting to see what action the Frankfurt state prosecutor will take against the ticket firm that allegedly forced his previous company into receivership.

ACE Entertainment filed for the equivalent of Chapter 11 protection at the end of 2010. Klein claimed Andrea Fischer of FIBA – who had been his “trusted personal assistant” for more than 10 years – was holding about euro 500,000 ($671,000) due to his company.

He tells Pollstar the prosecutor will take action against FIBA and any day now he expects to learn the nature of that action and when it will commence.

The row between the Frankfurt-based promoter and the ticket company was a drawn-out affair, made messier because the two main protagonists have been close friends and colleagues for more than a decade.

Fischer set up FIBA two years after joining Klein’s company and ran it mainly as an outlet for ACE’s tickets.

Klein says the amount of money owed by FIBA was accumulating at the rate of euro 50,000 per week, despite his several efforts to chase the money.

DEAG chief Peter Schwenkow – whose company bought a majority share in ACE in 2006 – described the falling out as “one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in a dispute between two former friends.”

After quitting her 12-year role at ACE at the beginning of December, Fischer immediately countered Klein’s claims by telling German trade magazine Musikmarkt that Klein’s company actually owed money to FIBA.

Schwenkow says it would have been possible to bail out ACE but stopping what was happening at FIBA had to be the first move.

He said putting ACE into administration did at least allow Klein, who has spent 45 years in the business and won two German Live Entertainment Awards in 2009, to step aside and let the official receiver get on with the job of collecting all the money the company is due.