Kirch Teeters on Edge of Bankruptcy

05 April 2002

Conflicting stories emerged Thursday from the bunker in which the embattled Kirch Gruppe is fighting for its life.

Minority shareholders are claiming that lack of cooperation between the various parties – banks, other creditors, investors and Leo Kirch himself – have made a bankruptcy filing inevitable. But Reuters reported overnight that the last-ditch discussions were still holding.

It seems, however, that the end is nigh. According to one of the minority shareholders, talks have been abandoned: “I don't think anyone was prepared to bend enough. But Kirch will go bankrupt... it is all over the place,” said the informant.

Word is that the salvation of Kirch is not the only agenda on the table. Kirch was close to agreeing the appointment of an administrator Thursday afternoon – a move that would have given the group breathing space while its restructured its debts.

But this was torpedoed by disagreement between the banks and minority shareholders in KirchMedia – the epicentre of the disaster – whose number includes Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff