Creditors to hear state of Kirch Media

Jaffe expected to announce bidders for $2 bil -$3 bil co.

BERLIN — Creditors of fallen Teutonic TV giant Kirch Media are gathering today in a Munich cinema to hear a report on the company’s state.

Insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe also is expected to announce the short list of bidders for assets, including Germany’s biggest broadcasting group, ProSiebenSat1.

More than 50 media and investment companies have expressed interest. Among those is a consortium led by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset; another consortium consists of Columbia TriStar, France’s leading network TF1 and Germany’s CommerzBank.

A third is made up of Teutonic publishers that have long-standing business relationships with Kirch — Springer, Bauer and Spiegel. Other possible bidders include Viacom and TV producer-distributor Haim Saban.

The going price is said to be between $2 billion and $3 billion.

Locals feel the publishers are most likely to succeed, as a “German solution” would appease politicos.

On Wednesday, insolvency proceedings were opened for Kirch Pay TV, which filed for bankruptcy in May. The division, which controls digital platform Premiere, has been looking for investors to save the broadcaster.

E.M.TV mulls suit

In related news, kidvidder EM.TV is mulling legal action against Bayerische Landesbank to prevent the bank from taking its stake in Formula One motor racing as collateral for a loan.

At EM.TV’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, CEO Werner Klatten said EM.TV would fight to keep it.

When EM.TV was saved from collapse by the now-insolvent Kirch Group last year, it sold most of Formula One to Kirch. Bayerische Landesbank, which financed Kirch’s purchase, insisted all of Formula One, including EM.TV’s remaining 16.7% stake, be offered as collateral.

Now EM.TV wants to stop Bayerische Landesbank from exercising the clause.

(Christian Kohl in Munich and Dow Jones contributed to this report.)

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