German media mogul Leo Kirch is in final stages of expanding his European empire again, this time to include a piece of Spain. The target is 25% of Spain’s leading private TV station, Tele Cinco, the purchase of which reportedly is close to being finalized.
The move also adds another layer to Kirch’s working partnership with Silvio Berlusconi, who already owns 25% of the channel.
Kirch Group spokesman Gottfried Zmeck confirmed that negotiations with the current owner of the shares, Spanish financier Javier de la Rosa, are already at an advanced stage and “very serious.”
Zmeck would not confirm the purchase price of $ 62 million reported by a Spanish newspaper.
Though it is unclear why de la Rosa is letting go of his part in the swift-rising channel, there is speculation that there’s a connection to the current legal battle with his former business partner, the Kuwaiti Investment Office.
The other shares in Tele Cinco (one of three private channels in Spain) are held respectively by a charity for the blind, ONCE (25%), Rupert Murdoch, publisher Zeta and the Banesto Bank. The Tele Cinco shares will unite Kirch and Berlusconi in a third joint venture after DSF in Germany and Tele Piu in Italy.