EM.TV sell-off plan attracting attention

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MUNICH -- In the two weeks since Munich-based sports and children's television specialist EM.TV announced it was putting its entertainment division up for sale, the company has received "more than a dozen" expressions of interest, CEO Werner Klatten said Friday in an interview with the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

An EM.TV spokesman said he could not be more specific about the number of offers or the nature of the parties -- whether they were from the entertainment industry or capital investors such as the new owners of the German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, KKR and Permira or a combination of the two. But he did say that the number of offers was "more than we had initially expected."

The spokesman confirmed that the book value of EM.TV's library of children's television rights, which comprises classic titles including "Heidi" and "Pippi Longstocking" along with popular new series such as "Zigby," is about €80 million ($106.8 million).

But he insisted that this is not an asking price for the entire division, which also includes fully and partially owned subsidiaries around the globe as well as an interest in the U.S. VOD platform Kabillion. Rather, it was a basis upon which to "orient" possible offers.

The sale should be wrapped up within the next 12 months, Klatten said.
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