Bauer Quits Kirch Poker Table, Leaving Saban to Play Solo

13 March 2003

The game to win insolvent German media giant KirchMedia switched from two-handed poker to Solo after local publishing group Heinrich Bauer Verlag announced Wednesday that the stakes had got too high and it was quitting the table.

“We have always said we would not take part in a bidding war,” said Bauer, whose exit leaves Saban Capital Group (the investment vehicle of Mighty Morphing Power Rangers billionaire Haim Saban) as the sole player.

Both bids were believed to be in the region of €2 billion ($2.2bn; £1.36bn) for the dual prize of KirchMedia's 52.5% stake in German TV station ProSiebenSat.1 and its accompanying huge media library. Saban, however, is said to have raised the stakes by a further €100 million and neither Bauer nor its German banker HVB was prepared to follow suit.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff