ProSiebenSat 1 buys into TM3

SLEC being folded into company

BERLIN — German broadcaster ProSiebenSat 1 is acquiring a 48% stake in German weblet TM3 for DM 131 million ($59 million).

TM3 is owned by shopping network H.O.T. and is being revamped into a youth-oriented interactive channel.

Although not directly affiliated with ProSiebenSat 1 parent Kirch Group, H.O.T. is 27% owned by Thomas Kirch, son of Kirch supremo Leo Kirch. Former ProSieben head Georg Kofler also has 27%, and 47% is held by the Home Shopping Network.

Meanwhile, SLEC, a Formula One rights company 75% owned by Kirch and production company EM.TV, is being folded into ProSiebenSat 1.

A dispute between Kirch and European car manufacturers over the ownership of SLEC has intensified recently. Kirch is said to have nixed a demand from the car companies for a free 33% stake in SLEC.

The carmakers, which include DaimlerChrysler, BMW, Fiat and Renault, argue that they invest millions in the racing teams that make Formula One the success it is.

They look increasingly likely to establish a rival circuit when Formula One contracts expire in 2007.

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