ProSiebenSat.1 to raise $549 mil

Channel to vote in new board members

BERLIN — German TV group ProSiebenSat.1 will be asking shareholders next month to approve a capital increase that could bring in as much as €490 million ($549 million).

The shareholders will also be voting for a new supervisory board at the June 16 meeting that is likely to include Haim Saban, who’s in the process of taking over the multichannel broadcaster, his brother Arieh Saban, chief strategy office Adam Chesnoff, former Fox Kids Europe topper and Saban exec Ynon Kreiz and German entertainer and Saban pal Thomas Gottschalk as well as the former head of pubcaster ZDF, Dieter Stolte.

ProSiebenSat.1 is looking to raise 97.24 million shares priced at $1 over the next five years. With the current price of ProSiebenSat.1 stock at $5.65, move could raise up to $549 million.

Local analysts said the impact of a capital increase was difficult to assess, as it would take place over a long period. Approval of the plan is said to be a condition for Saban’s acquisition of the broadcaster.

ProSiebenSat.1 has been reeling from the ongoing advertising slump, which has been compounded by the dire state of the German economy. Last month ProSiebenSat.1 chief exec Urs Rohner said the group would post a first quarter loss and that sales would be worse than expected.

Meanwhile, the makeup of the new supervisory board will depend on whether Saban finalizes his acquisition by the June 16 date. Company has released two lists of supervisory board candidates in case the sale is not completed in time. The first list includes Saban and his brother Arieh Saban, Chesnoff, Kreiz, Gottschalk and from fellow shareholder Axel Springer Verlag, Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner and Stolte, now a publishing exec at Springer.

News that Stolte and Gottschalk, who is to ZDF what Jay Leno is to NBC, are joining ZDF’s commercial rival is said to have infuriated the pubcaster’s top brass. Stolte is also a supervisory board member of the pubcaster’s sales division, ZDF Enterprises.

The alternative list includes Wolfgang van Betteray and Hans-Joachim Ziems, managing directors of ProSiebenSat.1’s insolvent parent Kirch Media, Michael Jaffe, Kirch Media’s insolvency administrator, and Helmut Thoma, former topper at rival broadcaster RTL Television.

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