Spiegel joins alliance in Kirch buy bid

Consortium looks to make offer for 51% of media co.

COLOGNE — The alliance formed by print publishers Axel Springer Verlag and Bauer Verlag to eye a possible takeover of insolvent Kirch Media has attracted two more potential partners.

Springer said Friday that Munich-based bank Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank and magazine publisher Spiegel Verlag have linked up with Springer and Bauer to establish a bidding consortium. Springer and Bauer in June announced that they had joined forces to make an offer for at least 51% of Kirch Media, emphasizing that their alliance was open to other investors.

TV interest

Spiegel Verlag is the publisher of news weekly Der Spiegel. According to a Spiegel spokesman, it is Kirch’s TV activities, rather than film rights, that Spiegel would be mainly interested in.

Although Spiegel has no immediate stake in any web, it produces more than 500 minutes of information programming per week, spread across various channels.

UBS Warburg, Kirch Media’s financial adviser in the negotiations, is allegedly trying to fetch around $3.5 billion.

Other investors that have earlier signaled interest in Kirch Media are a consortium of Columbia TriStar, Commerzbank and French web TF1, as well as Mediaset, Viacom and Haim Saban.

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