Kirch net has $400 mil secret debt

Study shows Premiere owes money to several banks

COLOGNE — A confidential study has found that Kirch’s German pay web Premiere has debts of x359 million ($393 million) that were not registered in its balance sheet.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley reportedly conducted the study for Premiere’s main creditor banks, Bayerische Landesbank and HypoVereinsbank. It found that Premiere owes money to several banks for leasing transactions with decoder sets, according to German weekly Der Spiegel.

According to the study, the actual net loss of Premiere’s parent Kirch Pay TV nearly doubled to $1.03 billion between 1999 and 2001, with total liabilities amounting to $2.06 billion.

Premiere has also adjusted the valuation of its film library from $246 million to $30 million, Der Spiegel alleged. The web is renegotiating its expenses for programming with Hollywood studios.

The study also claimed that Premiere won only half of the targeted 48,000 new subscriptions during May’s Soccer World Cup. At the beginning of the year, Premiere had 2.4 million subs.

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