ProSieben board approves KKR/Permira offer

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COLOGNE, Germany -- The management and supervisory board of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has approved the buyout offer submitted by private equity groups KKR and Permira for ProSieben's minority shares.

KKR/Permira acquired a majority stake in ProSiebenSat.1 in a $4 billion deal signed late last year with Haim Saban-led German Media Partners (HR 12/15).

Under German law, KKR/Permira are required to make a buyout offer to remaining minority shareholders. They are offering €28.7 ($37.2) a share for voting shares in ProSieben, equivalent to the amount the group paid for Saban's stake. For nonvoting shares, KKR/Permira are offering €22.5 ($29.1) per share, the minimum amount required under the law, which demands an offer equal to ProSieben's average share price over the past three months.

In a statement issued Tuesday, ProSieben management and the company's supervisory board approved the offer, although they declined to add a recommendation to shareholders to accept or reject it.

Management added the caveat that the KKR/Permira offer for non-voting shares, while within the range required by German law, "undervalued" ProSieben stock.

Shares in ProSieben have been climbing steadily since the KKR/Permira deal was signed. In late afternoon trading Tuesday, the stock was up 2.3% at €25.7 ($33.3).

ProSiebenSat.1 shareholders have until Jan. 30 to approve or reject the buyout offer. As it stands, KKR/Permira control 50.5% of ProSiebenSat.1 and 88% of the company's voting shares.
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