KKR/Permira eye Produktion sale


COLOGNE, Germany -- Private equity group KKR and Permira are considering selling off the production unit of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, sources near the company said Monday.

ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion is an umbrella division encompassing the broadcasters' various production and post-production studios as well as all technical and information services companies. With about 1,000 employees, the unit represents a third of ProSiebenSat.1's total workforce.

According to a report in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, KKR/Permira has already approached several electronics/technical services groups including Thomson, IBM and Siemens thought to be interested in the division.

ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion is believed to generate revenues of several hundred million Euros a year, the bulk of that through business with ProSiebenSat.1 TV channels.

Dropping ProSiebenSat.1's production arm would sharply trim overhead costs and improve the company's balance sheet ahead of the company's planned merger with SBS Broadcasting.

KKR/Permira, which controls both ProSiebenSat.1 and SBS, plans to merge the two broadcasters to create a pan-European TV giant.

ProSiebenSat.1 declined comment Monday.