European Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Buys Back Own Shares

Deal helps sickly ProSieben stock, which jumps 5%.

COLOGNE, Germany - Shares in European broadcast group ProSiebenSat.1 shot up 5.5 percent in early trading Monday after the company announced plans to buy back 2.5 million of its own shares. 

The buy-back could be the first of many. ProSieben shareholders have given management the green light to buy back up to 10 per cent of the company's shares over the next four years. The move is intended to shore up ProSieben shares, which have slid dramatically in the past few months.

ProSieben stock has nearly halved in value since its peak in February this year and currently stands at $18 (€12.45). Private equity groups KKR and Permira, which together control 88% of ProSieben's common stock, were expected to cash out of the European TV group this year but the sale has evidently been postponed in hopes the stock will recover.

Defying its sickly stock price, ProSieben's business plan looks rosy. The Pan-European network is on course for a record year, after first half figures showed a 5 per cent jump in revenue to $1.74 billion (€1.29 billion) and consolidated net profits up sharply to $225 million (€167 million).

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