An offer of $2.6bn emerged as the highest of seven bids submitted by separate consortia offering to take over the insolvent KirchMedia, a meeting of the concern's creditors was told yesterday. Some creditors had hoped for bids to reach $3.5bn

Commenting on the range of bids, KirchMedia managing director Wolfgang van Betteray declared that "the great interest by potential investors impressively confirms our assessment that the restructuring of KirchMedia can be successfully completed in the coming months and the company preserved in its core business".

A decision will now be made as to which of the seven will be invited to undertake a more detailed due diligence of KirchMedias books, and the successful bid should be finalised by the end of August or beginning of September.

The KirchMedia management reported that a total of $8.4bn receivables had been registered by the concern's creditors.

In the last financial year, KirchMedia posted revenues of $1.3bn and a loss of $2.14m, with total assets amounting to $3.1bn.

At the same meeting, held in Munich on August 1, co-managing director Hans-Joachim Ziems announced that 117 employees - 20% of the KirchMedia workforce (excluding ProSiebenSAT.1 Media) - would have to be made redundant, and the division's 125-odd subsidiary companies drastically reduced in number.