German publisher Axel Springer sells TV broadcasting stake
Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

The German publishing group Axel Springer said today it would sell its stake in television broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 in a move that ends a takeover attempt stretching back over several years. Europe’s biggest newspaper publisher, which owns the daily tabloid Bild and Die Welt, said it was ceding its 12 percent stake in ProSiebenSat.1 to the broadcaster’s core shareholders, the investment funds KKR and Permira, for 509 million euros ($750 million). The sale awaits approval by the German authority KEK which oversees media consolidation.

Springer said it intended to buy ProSiebenSat.1 in 2005, but the deal dragged on, with the German competition authority and KEK standing in the way, and the publisher finally deciding to abandon its bid. By keeping its 12 percent stake, Springer had retained the option of another offer, but KKR and Permira in the meantime acquired a majority holding and the latter then merged with Luxembourg-based SBS Broadcasting, changing the picture considerably.

(Source: AFP)