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Kirch plans to sell stake in Telecinco

Sales revenue would finance internal restructuring of merged entity

COLOGNE — The Kirch Group intends to sell its 25% stake in Spanish private web Telecinco to help finance its projected merger of its core holding Kirch Media with its ProSiebenSat 1 Media units.

The group’s vice chairman, Dieter Hahn, told analysts in Munich Thursday that revenues from the sale of Telecinco would finance internal restructuring of the merged entity, which will be listed on the German stock exchange by next summer.

Coin will in part serve to back the purchase of the 11.5% stake in ProSiebenSat 1 held by publishing group Axel Springer for DM1.5 billion ($690 million).

Divesting other assets

The Kirch Group is in the process of divesting other noncore assets within Kirch Media, which contains its terrestrial TV, production, licensing, sports rights and Internet assets. But it has not named the assets on top of its sales list.

Kirch can expect a sizable windfall from the sale of its 25% stake in Telecinco, assuming it finds a buyer. In June Spanish media giant Planeta sold its 10% equity in Telecinco for a reported 372 million euros ($335 million), reaping profits of $283 million.

The Telecinco Group, which includes ad agency Publiespana, posted net profits of $139 million last year on revenues of $581 million.

Kirch announced last month that it would be merging Kirch Media and its free TV holding ProSiebenSat 1 with a view to floating the entity on the German stock exchange by the end of next June.

(Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.)

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