German TV Broadcasters Unite under Private Equity Owners

28 June 2007

MUNICH: German commercial television broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 Media has inked a €3.3 billion ($4.4bn; £2.2bn) deal to buy rival group SBS Broadcasting, a pan-European union that will challenge the Bertelsmann empire.

Prosieben is owned by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Permira which, very neatly, also hold a majority stake in SBS.

The merger does not require any scrutiny by competition regulators and is expected to be finalized by the end of July.

Says Prosieben ceo Guillaume de Posch: "This transaction is a major step into the future for us. It is all about content. We will achieve a greater critical mass, which will allow us to produce a broader selection of high-quality programming throughout our European footprint."

The combined group will operate 24 free-to-air TV stations, 24 pay-TV stations and 22 radio networks in 13 European countries, expanding its reach to more than 77 million households.

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