ProSieben ready to force Telegraaf's hand

Shareholders set to force acquisition of voting shares

COLOGNE, Germany -- The controlling shareholders in pan-European broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 are expected to exercise a put option that will force Dutch group Telegraaf Media to acquire 12% of ProSieben's voting shares and 6% of the company's equity capital.

Telegraaf has said it won't exercise a call option to buy the stake for about $51 a share, more than 3 1/2 times ProSieben's current share price.

The call option is part of Telegraaf's 433 million euro deal, signed last year, to sell ProSieben Telegraaf's 20% stake in SBS Broadcasting. That deal was part of ProSieben's 3.5 billion euro SBS buyout.

ProSiebenSat.1 now has the option to exercise a put, compelling Telegraaf to buy the 12% stake for up to 28.71 euros ($45) a share. Telegraaf said that would mean a 51 million euro ($80 million) savings over using the call option, but it is still a 320% mark-up on ProSieben's current share price of 8.95 euros ($14.10).