Cecchi Gori: Media group worth $2.2 billion

TV division loses $48 million

MILAN — Vittorio Cecchi Gori said his media group is currently worth over 4 trillion lire ($2.2 billion). About $1.5 billion stems from film production, distribution and exhibition activities, the rest from the TV business. The $2.2 billion does not include the sports activities of the Florentine tycoon.

Overall financial results will be positive this year, with the film sector showing profits of $54 million while the TV division lost $48 million, the film producer and distributor said. Debt amounts to around $810 million.

The announcement follows a round of press reports maintaining that Cecchi Gori is negotiating the sale of beleaguered TV channels TMC and TMC2 as a way to solve his group’s increasingly serious financial problems.

Reports included Rupert Murdoch, Telecom Italia and, more recently, a group of Italian investors represented by U.S. merchant bank Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette as possible acquisitors of the two channels.

“Negotiations are under way with potential partners both in Italy and abroad,” Cecchi Gori said. “These talks regard the possible sale of minority stakes in the film and TV business. For the film division, the project of going public is advancing.”

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