German publishing giant Bauer and Kirch Gruppe say that they are at long last agreed on the terms of a deal which sees KirchMedia's majority stake in broadcast group ProSiebenSAT1 sold to a Bauer-controlled consortium (see Screendaily, Dec 11).
They are believed to have settled on an asking price of $715m (Euros700m) for the 52.5% stake in the company which is Germany's largest broadcaster. But Bauer said that the acquisition is conditional on it also obtaining control of Kirch's massive film library. With an estimated 15,000 film and TV titles this is one of the largest in the world.
Bauer, which is partnered by the HypoVeriensBank (HVB), may soon be able to take greater control of ProSiebenSAT1, as rival publisher Axel Springer said that it is ready to sell its 11.5% stake to Bauer. In the New Year, Bauer says it intends to make a full public offer for the outstanding publicly-traded shares in the group.
Bauer has indicated that it wants to control a 52% stake in the library with the rest owned by creditor banks which will turn some of KirchMedia's $766m (Euros750m) debt into equity. The banks are equally demanding that Bauer inject some $204m (Euros200m) of fresh capital into the library operation.
What is still unclear is whether Sony is still part of the consortium. It was previously involved, but was not mentioned in the latest statements by Bauer and HVB.