Hollywood mogul Haim Saban (pictured) has taken the first step in buying the assets of KirchMedia by acquiring German TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media.
US billionaire media mogul Haim Saban has founded a new subsidiary of his Saban Group to acquire 36% of the ordinary shares (72% of the voting rights) in ProSiebenSat.1 Media. At this stage of the proceedings, partner TF1 has yet to become involved in the deal.
The terms of the second step, involving the purchase of KirchMedia's film library and film rights operation has already been agreed and will be signed within the next 10 days - after around 40,000 pages have been "finally checked and compiled into a comprehensive contractual agreement."
While the deal has still to receive approval from the KirchMedia creditor committee, the German federal anti-trust authorities and the media concentration regulatory body KEK, Haim Saban said his company was "extremely excited about the opportunity that lies ahead for us in rebuilding Germany's greatest media assets."
In one fell swoop, Saban and potential partner French broadcaster TFI will become a third force in the German television landscape alongside public broadcasters ARD and ZDF and Bertelsmann/RTL Group, and will control half of the private commercial television market.
According to KirchMedia managing director Hans-Joachim Ziems, who will continue to be available to the new owners as a consultant, approximately 85% of the insolvent KirchMedia group's assets have now been sold.
However, insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe is expecting the so-called regulation insolvency proceeding to last between 12-15 years as there are a large number of smaller subsidiary and affiliated companies in Germany and abroad which have not yet been sold together with other tasks to be undertaken.