ProsiebenSat.1 Snapped up By Private Equity Alliance

18 December 2006

MUNICH: German commercial television broadcaster ProsiebenSat.1 Media has agreed terms for its acquisition by a US/European alliance of private equity firms.

Winners in the three-way auction are Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Permira who jointly offered €3.1 billion ($4.1bn; £2.07bn) for a 50.5% stake. As required under German law, the firms also plan to bid for the company's remaining stock.

The sale will result in a large Europe-wide media company that will also encompass the Dutch-Scandinavian SBS broadcaster, already owned by KKR and Permira.

ProSiebenSat.1 operates five TV stations in Germany with a 30% audience share, behind rival Bertelsmann's RTL Group - Europe's biggest broadcaster. Prosieben, however, has a 45% share of the country's TV advertising market.

The broadcaster, controlled by German Media Partners consortium, saw an earlier attempt to sell to publisher Axel Springer thwarted by the country's competition regulators [WARC News: 09-Jan-06]. The new deal will also face scrutiny by German and European watchdogs.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff