BERLIN — More players are sniffing around the fallen Kirch Group and licking their chops: Billionaire producer Haim Saban and longtime Kirch rival Herbert Kloiber are the latest names interested in a piece of the shattered media empire.
Saban, creator of the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and ex-Kirch partner, is said to have $1.45 billion at his disposal and is looking for investors for a joint bid. He was reportedly in Munich recently to meet with Kirch execs.
Kloiber has expressed interest in supporting the joint bid by German publishers Axel Springer and Bauer. The companies are in talks with a number of possible investors, however.
Kloiber, who could not be reached for comment, is Germany’s second-largest film rights trader. He is bidding for German soccer league (DFL) rights, currently held by the Kirch Group’s bankrupt broadcasting and rights division Kirch Media. The DFL is expected to decide on the winning bid next week.
Kirch Media wants to keep the rights, but Kloiber is reportedly offering €300 million ($290 million) per season.
Wolfgang Holzhauser, manager of soccer club Bayer Leverkusen, told weekly Der Spiegel that the DFL should seriously consider Kloiber’s offer in view of Kirch’s failure to fulfill past contracts.
Kirch Media was the first Kirch division to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, after billions in losses stemming from overpriced sports and film rights and company’s inability to recoup costs from its failed pay TV venture.