A pan-European broadcaster rivaling RTL Group is set to result from the purchase of a controlling stake in German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 by private equity giants Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Permira. The pair are paying ?3.1bn for a 50.5% stake held by former owner Haim Saban and other US investors. KKR and Permira already have a majority stake in SBS Broadcasting, which operates 12 channels in Scandinavia, Benelux countries and eastern Europe.
"We're delighted at the strategic prospects that the ProSiebenSat.1 Group could gain through its new principal shareholders: SBS is the leading integrated pan-European broadcasting group. As the hub of a new European TV group, we would be able to expand our successful corporate strategy on an international scale," said ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Guillaume de Posch.
"KKR and Permira have indicated that they will fully support the strategy currently pursued by the Group: to strengthen our core business Free TV, to diversify our revenue sources and to position the group for the digital world."
KKR and Permira are reportedly preparing to buy the remainder of ProSiebenSat.1's shares in a deal valuing the broadcaster at ?5.7bn. Last year German newspaper publisher Axel Springer sought to acquire ProSiebenSat.1, but German regulators blocked the deal on competition grounds.
Lovelace Consulting | 15.12.2006