Kloiber, Tele Munchen eye ATV takeover


COLOGNE, Germany -- German mogul Herbert Kloiber and his Tele Munchen Group are close to a deal to take over Austrian private television channel ATV.

Kloiber is in final negotiations with the Bawag bank to acquire Bawag's 43% share in ATV, a move that would give Kloiber and TMG 98% of the Vienna-based network.

The price tag is reportedly between €50 million and €100 million ($71 million-$142 million), a hefty sum for a channel with less than 3% market share in one of Europe's smallest TV territories.

But Kloiber has repeatedly shown he is able to take small, seemingly insignificant channels and build them into attractive businesses. It is something he has done in Germany with TMG subsidiary Tele 5 and with RTL 2, which TMG controls together with Bauer Media, Herbert Burda and the RTL Group.

Kloiber has made no secret of his plans to acquire ATV but is keeping mum until a final deal is signed, something expected by the end of the month.