KirchMedia, quondam flagship of collapsed German media empire Kirch Gruppe, may now be broken up before it is sold, after creditors decided talks could begin with suitors of its KirchSport unit.
Until now, KirchMedia’s management has been trying to dispose of the company in one piece. Among its assets are a 52.5% stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 and numerous film and sports licences, including rights to the next soccer World Cup.
However, earlier this month it emerged that Robert Louis-Dreyfus, former chairman of Adidas and one-time boss of Saatchi & Saatchi, was eyeing KirchSport [WAMN: 16-Sep-02], while former KirchMedia ceo Dieter Hahn has offered £215 million ($335m; €341m) for the unit.
According to insiders, a deal for KirchSport could be finalised before the end of the month, in time for the mid-October deadline for the disposal of the rest of the firm.
Four groups are in contention in the main auction: a team of publishers Axel Springer and Bauer plus HypoVereinsbank; the pairing of French broadcaster TF1 and billionaire Haim Saban; a consortium of Commerzbank and Columbia TriStar; and a number of KirchMedia investors.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff