Taurus, the parent company that spans Kirch Media, KirchPayTV and KirchBeteiligung, is expected to be the latest element of the beleaguered Kirch empire to be sucked into bankruptcy.

According to sources close to Kirch, a filing with the courts is "expected soon". Further confirmation came earlier this week when BSkyB said it expects to exercise an option that would force Taurus to buy back BSkyB's shares in KirchPayTV. It had been thought that the option could not be used until October, but in a statement BSkyB said there are now circumstances which enable it to do so - although it also admitted that it could not expect to realise the full value of the Euros 1.7bn option.