EU approves takeover of German broadcaster Prosieben
Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

EU regulators today approved the purchase of the second-biggest German television broadcaster ProSiebenSAT1 by private equity funds Permira and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). Although the funds own some big media interests, the European Commission found that the deal would not stifle competition after reviewing it for antitrust dangers. Earlier this month, the two investment funds offered to buy out minority shareholders after building up majority stakes with an investment of about three billion euros (3.9 billion dollars). The outstanding shares would cost them 2.5 billion euros.

Under its new owners, KKR and Permira, ProSiebenSAT1 has said it expected to be merged later this year with European firm SBS Broadcasting. SBS Broadcasting is also owned by KKR and Permira and a combination with ProSiebenSAT1 would create a group big enough to take on arch-rival RTL.

“The Commission concluded that there was no risk that the proposed transaction would allow the new entity to drive competitors out of the market or to discriminate against them,” it said after considering that possibility.

(Source: AFP)