Hollywood Conglomerates Seen as Possible Bidders for Germany's ProSieben

ProSiebenSat.1 logo - H 2012

Time Warner and News Corp. are among those who could look at the broadcast giant as its private-equity owners plan to exit.

Private-equity groups Permira and KKR are looking at options for their roughly 53 percent controlling stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media, including a sale, Bloomberg News and the Financial Times reported.

A decision on the potential sale of the full stake or part of it is expected this year.

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The Financial Times said that Time Warner -- which has grown internationally -- Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Comcast-controlled NBCUniversal could be among potential bidders. Representatives for the companies weren't immediately available for comment or declined to comment on the reports.

Discovery Communications late last year agreed to buy ProSieben's Scandinavian business for $1.7 billion.

The current ProSieben owners, which took their stake in 2006, have hired JPMorgan Chase to advise them on their options for the remaining business, which includes the large Sat.1 and ProSieben networks.

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Permira and KKR paid $4.2 billion for their stake a few years ago, but the FT pointed out that it is currently worth about $7.5 billion. The stock has gained 41 percent over the past year.

In another upcoming German TV deal, media giant Bertelsmann said last week that it plans to sell part of its controlling stake in big European broadcaster RTL Group to raise cash for acquisitions in growth markets.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai