US billionaire Haim Saban is poised to take over 72% of the voting shares in the German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1 as part of a bidding alliance with five private equity investors.
Sources at the insolvent KirchMedia confirmed press reports on August 4 that a revived bid from Saban would be on the table at a meeting of the media group's creditor committee on August 5.
The German daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung had reported in its August 4 edition that Saban and the financial investors were planning to offer more than Euros 500m for the 36% package of ordinary shares KirchMedia owns directly in ProSiebenSat.1 and would then later pay "at least Euros 200m" for a further 14.5% which is presently held by the KirchMedia subsidiary Taurus TV.
In addition, the bid would be followed by Euros 280m for an urgently needed capital increase for the ProSieben group.
Speaking to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung at the weekend, Werner Schmidt, chairman of the board at Bayerische Landesbank, one of KirchMedia's largest creditor banks, stressed that his bank "will only agree to a sale of the ProSieben shares by Kirch Media if the conditions are right", but noted "if the deal is to go alright, then it must happen quickly now. The sale could be perfect within a week, we are not going let ourselves get involved any more in months of haggling."
Saban's previous offer had failed in June when the billionaire had been unable to provide proof of the financing for the deal. However, this time round, the purchase price has apparently already been paid into an account at JP Morgan Chase and can be drawn down once the contracts have been signed