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Kirch raises stake in SAT1

BERLIN — Bavarian media mogul Leo Kirch is increasing his share in Germany’s No. 2 commercial station SAT1 from 43% to 58%. A Kirch Group representative said on Monday that Kirch has purchased publisher Holtzbrinck’s 15% stake in SAT1. The deal has been submitted for approval by media and antitrust authorities.

Kirch announced his intention to acquire a majority stake in SAT1 in January, but met with opposition from Axel Springer Verlag, which holds a share of around 40% in SAT1. The Kirch Group rep told Daily Variety that Kirch now expects Springer to approve the transfer.

A change in Germany’s media laws that went into effect at the beginning of this year allows a single investor to own over 50% of a network.

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