Austria’s ATV ready for bidders

Partial sale could be finalized this month

BERLIN — A partial sale of Austrian commercial web ATV could be finalized this month with final bids expected this week.

Vienna’s Bawag Bank’s 43% stake is on the block, and bids are expected primarily from private equity firms, according to Austrian newspaper Osterreich. Media mogul Herbert Kloiber, whose Tele Munchen Group owns 54% of the web, is not expected to bid for the remaining share.

Local estimates have varied greatly as to the going price of the stake in the country’s only nationwide commercial broadcaster, with figures ranging between e50 million and e100 million ($67 million and $133 million).

ATV’s programming includes hit series such as “24,” “Dead Zone,” “Nip/Tuck” “King of Queens” and “Stargate.”

Bawag decided earlier this year to sell its noncore assets, including its stake in the broadcaster. London-based investment bank Rothschild is handling the sale.

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