France’s TF1 Pledges €150m Support for Saban’s Kirch Takeover

25 April 2003

French television group TF1 plans to pour up to €150 million (€165m; £104m) into the takeover of the TV assets of defunct German media empire Kirch Gruppe.

TF1, France’s largest privately owned broadcaster, emerged late in the auction of the KirchMedia unit as a surprise partner for winning bidder Haim Saban, the US billionaire responsible for inflicting the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers on the world’s unsuspecting parents.

Saban and TF1 won a majority stake in German TV giant ProSiebenSat.1 and an extensive library of film rights. At the time there was speculation that the former asset would be taken by Saban, the latter by his French partner [WAMN: 18-Mar-03].

Now TF1 chief executive Patrick Le Lay has revealed the group will invest €100m to €150m into the partnership if “conditions seem suitable to us.” The broadcaster has exclusive negotiating rights with Saban – who has also been appointed to TF1’s board of directors – until the end of the month.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff