KKR, Permira close $4-bil ProSieben deal

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COLOGNE, Germany -- Private equity funds KKR and Permira on Tuesday closed their $4 billion deal to buy a majority stake in leading German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 from Haim Saban's German Media Partners.

The deal, signed last December between German Media Partners and KKR/Permira holding company Lavena Holding 4, will give the equity firms 88% of ProSieben's voting common stock, some 13% of its non-voting preferred stock and a 50.5% overall stake.

Both German and European media watchdogs have approved the deal.

As a parting gift to ProSiebenSat.1's management team under CEO Guillaume de Posch, German Media Partners will pay a bonus of €23 million ($30.1 million) to ProSieben's managers and employees out of their profits from the sale.

KKR and Permira have said their next move will be to merge ProSieben, which operates five free-to-air and two pay TV channels in Germany, with SBS Broadcasting, the pan-European broadcaster the companies acquired last year.

That merger, if approved, will create Europe's No. 2 television group, behind Bertelsmann-controlled RTL.

Permira also has plans to create a pan-European television production entity. Last week, company subsidiary All3Media, the U.K.'s leading independent TV production house, made a $100 million buyout offer for Germany's leading independent, Berlin-based MME Moviement.
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