ProSieben, SBS set up merger committee


COLOGNE, Germany -- Leading German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has set up an independent committee to study the company's planned merger with pan-European group SBS Broadcasting.

The committee includes MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan, ex-BBC director Greg Dyke and Harald Wiedmann, president of the German Accounting Standards Board in Berlin.

The committee will advise ProSieben's owners KKR and Permira on the SBS merger and must approve a deal before it is submitted to media authorities and company shareholders.

KKR/Permira, which acquired ProSieben from Haim Saban and his investors in a $4 billion deal last year, want to fuse the company with SBS, which they also control, to form a pan-European broadcasting group able to compete with Bertelsmann's RTL Group.

A decision on whether to go ahead with the merger is expected by the middle of this year.