The takeover shoot-out for KirchMedia, flagship sporting rights and TV arm of felled German media giant Kirch Gruppe, has officially begun, with the decision by a court in Munich to open insolvency proceedings.

Offers are now invited for the unit, whose biggest assets are a majority stake in broadcast giant ProSiebenSat.1 and sports and film rights. A new home for KirchMedia is expected to be found by the end of the summer.

Two groups are known to be interested: one a consortium comprising Commerzbank, WAZ Gruppe and Columbia TriStar; the other a joint bid from publishers Axel Springer and Heinrich Bauer.

Unusually, restructuring experts Wolfgang van Betteray and Heinz-Joachim Ziems continue at the helm of KirchMedia, rather than the more customary appointment of an insolvency administrator.

Data sourced from: Handelsblatt (Germany); additional content by WARC staff