Permira sets sights on MME

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COLOGNE, Germany -- U.K. private equity group Permira has made a bid valued at €78 million ($103 million) for Berlin-based MME Moviement AG, Germany's largest independent television production company.

Permira is offering €7 ($9.3) a share for MME, bidding through the German division of its U.K. production subsidiary All3Media.

The offer is slightly above forecasts and the news sent MME shares through the roof.

Stock in the company, which produces a slate of entertainment and talk shows for German commercial television, leapt 17.4% to €6.87 ($9.1) in early afternoon trading Wednesday.

Permira, through All3Media, already controls about 42% of MME.

Late last year, the equity group, together with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, signed a $4 billion deal to acquire Germany's largest commercial broadcaster, ProSiebenSat.1. That deal was approved last week by European Commission watchdogs.

Permira and KKR also control pan-European broadcaster SBS Broadcasting and plan to merge SBS with ProSieben later this year.

MME is an obvious complement to All3Media, the U.K.'s largest independent TV producer, which Permira bought last July for $625 million.

MME booked a pre-tax profit of €4.5 million ($5.9 million) in the first nine months of 2006, up from €3.9 million over the same period a year earlier. Revenue jumped to €61.7 million ($81.5 million) from €57.9 million in the first nine months of 2005.

Under the Permira takeover deal, MME's management troika of Martin Hoffmann, Gisela Marx and Christian Franckenstein will stay on for at least the next three years.
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