KirchMedia's managing director sports rights, Dr Alexander Liegl has quit the insolvent German media group ahead of plans to merge its film and sports rights businesses under the management of one director.

Kirch said Liegl will leave the company "with immediate effect," adding that his departure was "at his own request and by way of amicable agreement."

The company said that Liegl, who took over the management of the group's sports rights business in January last year, was leaving to pursue "other professional assignments."

Kirch declined to say when a new rights chief would be appointed, or whether incumbent film rights' head Fred Kogel will become the new managing director with combined responsibility for all rights trading.

Kirch said it had timed the move to coincide with its ongoing restructuring, that it said was now "nearing completion." The news comes as a third consortium announced a bid of around Euros2.5bn (£1.9bn) for the core assets of Kirch Media that include a majority stake in broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 and Europe's largest film library.

The new consortium comprises several of KirchMedia's minority shareholders including Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holdings, investment bank Lehman Brothers and German retail group Rewe.

Contrary to some weekend reports Italian media giant Mediaset - controlled by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - has not yet joined the group. Though a report in German newspaper Der Spiegel said Berlusconi had decided not to bid for political reasons, a spokesman for the Saudi prince said the consortium was actively seeking Berlusconi's support.

"This consortium is in active and in-depth talks with Mediaset to join as an operating partner. We want to bring Mediaset on board because they are old Kirch shareholders and know a lot about the business," the spokesman told Reuters.

The other two consortia on the shortlist are US media investor Haim Saban and French broadcaster TF1 and another that includes German bank Commerzbank, Sony and Columbia TriStar.

A prospective third consortia involving German publishers Axel Springer, Heinrich Bauer and the HypoVereinsbank also said that it was still interested in KirchMedia despite having its initial offer of Euros1.9bn rejected by UBS Warburg, the US bank that is handling the sale.