Power Ranger Tycoon in KirchMedia Comeback

04 August 2003

Hollywood billionaire Haim Saban, whose dollar hoard accrued mainly from kids’ cartoon series such as ‘Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’, has made a second offer for Germany’s bankrupt TV giant KirchMedia – just eight weeks after retreating from an ‘in principle’ deal for want of adequate finance [WAMN: 06-Jun-03].

Saban’s representatives quietly returned to the negotiating table in the dog days of July, conducting discreet soundings with KirchMedia’s creditors [WAMN: 22-Jul-03]. Now mutual passion for the marriage is said to have been rekindled, its flames fanned by “five wealthy backers”.

The quintet – all private equity firms – is said to comprise Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman, Providence Equity Partners, the Quadrangle Group and Thomas H Lee.

At stake is KirchMedia’s ProSiebenSat.1, a broadcast giant with four substantial TV stations in a TV market second only in size to the United States. “He [Saban] is coming in with a serious offer, fully financed,” revealed an anonymous insider. “If it gets done, it will be a good deal for KirchMedia, for the creditors, and for Germany.”

But despite the optimistic noises emerging from both camps, nothing is engraved in stone. “This is probably the single most complicated deal I’ve ever been involved in,” said the insider. “It is fiendishly complicated.”

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff