Saban booster shot

ProSiebenSat 1 shares rise on shop talk

The share price for Haim Saban’s ProSiebenSat 1 jumped more than 4% Friday on reports that Saban is again shopping Germany’s biggest broadcaster.

The company’s sale to publishing giant Axel Springer fell through in February after German antitrust watchdogs nixed the deal.

Shares of the Munich-based TV company reached E22.75 ($29) following news that Saban organized a presentation last week for interested buyers, which reportedly included France’s TF1 and investment firms Permira and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Saban already has close ties to TF1 and holds a seat on its supervisory board, while Permira and KKR are eager to invest in European TV.

The two groups took over pan-European broadcaster SBS last year after Permira successfully floated a major stake in German paybox Premiere. Permira still holds a 23% share in the digital pay platform.

If Permira and KKR buy ProSiebenSat 1, it’s likely they’ll link it up with Premiere, whose pay TV business would greatly benefit the ad-dependent ProSiebenSat 1. This could bring the two entities back under the same umbrella for the first time since the bankruptcy of one-time owner Leo Kirch in 2002.

Also said to be in the mix are equity companies Apax and Goldman Sachs, which in December sold their stakes in Germany’s biggest cable group, Kabel Deutschland, to fellow shareholder Providence Equity in a deal estimated at $2.3 billion.

ProSiebenSat 1 stock has gone up considerably since Axel Springer’s initial bid. The publisher had been prepared to pay $18 per publicly listed nonvoting share.

With nonvoting shares currently trading at $28.66, observers reckon Saban could now get up to $38 per voting share.

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