Banks nix loans to Kirch

Probe of finances hampers fundraising for mogul

BERLIN — Bavarian media magnate Leo Kirch has requested major loans from several banks but has been turned down, a German newspaper reported Wednesday.

Kirch is attempting to raise coin to support his ambitious TV projects, according to Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. But so far, the paper claims, the banks are refusing to grant Kirch credit until the results of an ongoing probe of Kirch’s finances have been announced.

Munich public prosecutors suspect Kirch of evading German taxes through a series of transactions with Swiss companies.

Kirch and CLT-Ufa are currently struggling to gain approval of their German digital pay TV merger from European competition officials.

Kirch’s DF1 digital pay-TV platform has cost the media tycoon DM1 billion ($556 million) in startup costs. If the merger collapses, industry observers expect Kirch could find himself in a precarious financial situation.