BERLIN — Gotham-based investment bank Lehman Brothers has acquired a 3.1% stake in Kirch Media, the core holding of Munich-based media heavy-weight the Kirch Group.
Lehman, which has served in an advisory capacity to the Kirch Group since 1995, will pay DM375 million ($202 million) for its stake in the division, which contains the production, rights trading and free TV assets.
In March, Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset and Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal each acquired 3.19% stakes in Kirch Media for $208 million. Due to a capital increase accompanying the Lehman deal, they each now hold 3.1% stakes.
“Our goal before going public is to stock up the company capital by 10%-15% through partners,” Kirch topper Jan Mojto told German daily Die Welt. “We have now reached our goal.”
The company is planning to float a total of 25% of Kirch Media within the next three years. So far, the partnerships and other pacts have brought in around $830 million into the Kirch Group, which needs coin to finance the German pay TV market that it is running single-handedly.
Kirch said it won’t take new partners into the holding company that contains its pay TV interests until the market has settled in Germany.
Lehman now holds an indirect stake in the European media alliance Eureka formed in early March between Berlusconi’s Mediaset and Kirch Media.