Speculation over the sale of Haim Saban’s ProSiebenSat 1 heated up Thursday following publication of the German broadcasting group’s third-quarter results, as losses doubled to $35 million while sales climbed 4% to $550 million.
Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset remains in the running despite growing opposition in Germany to a takeover by the Italian media conglom as well as a reportedly low offer for the 50.5% stake held by a Saban-led consortium. ProSiebenSat 1 is valued at e5 billion ($6.4 billion).
Contributing to the higher than expected loss were one-off financial charges due to early repayment of a $255 million bond, a new $639 million credit line plus higher marketing and personnel costs.
ProSiebenSat 1’s nine-month operating profit (before interest and tax) rose 13% to $326 million.