Premiere details new share issue

Pay TV group aims to raise $34 mil

COLOGNE, Germany -- German pay TV group Premiere has announced details of its new share issue, which will see the company issue as many as 10.2 million at 3.76 euros ($5.15) each.

The goal is to raise at least 25 million euros ($34 million), cash needed for the first stage in CEO Mark Williams' plan to restructure the troubled television group.

News Corp., Premiere's largest shareholder, has agreed to backstop the issue -- that is, buy up any unsold shares -- to insure proceeds of at least  25 million euros. News Corp., however, will keep its total stake in Premiere below the key 30% mark, above which News Corp. would be required to make a buyout offer to Premiere minority shareholders.

Premiere has negotiated bank loans to make the cash generated by the new issue. Premiere is planning a second, market larger rights issue, with correspondingly larger contingent loans, in Q2.
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