Stake in Austria's ATV available


MUNICH -- A major stake in Austria's sole national commercial broadcaster, ATV, is up for sale, the company said Tuesday.

The block of shares, which at 43% is the second largest in ATV, is part of a wider sell-off of non-core assets owned by Austria's troubled Bawag-Bank, which was taken over in December by a group led by U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

The majority owner of ATV is Herbert Kloiber, head of Germany's TeleMuenchenGroup, who owns 53% of the company's stock.

An ATV spokeswoman said that Germany's RTL, which belongs to the Bertelsmann Group, and KKR/Permira's newly acquired ProSiebenSat.1 are rumored to be among the investors to have expressed interest in the Austrian broadcaster.

Kloiber has made pronouncements to the press about the future of his stake. According to the Financial Times Deutschland, he has first refusal on Bewag's shares, but industry observers doubt that Kloiber will attempt to acquire more ATV stock.
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