Saban again trying to sell ProSieben

Teuton TV group eyes spinoff move

COLOGNE — German TV group ProSiebenSat 1 soon may move to spin off a large stake or even a majority holding, German media have reported.

The TV group is majority owned by U.S. tycoon Haim Saban along with various financial investors. In January, a sale to print publishing house Axel Springer failed to materialize after the cartel watchdog vetoed the deal. The owners have since claimed they were in no hurry to make another spinoff attempt.

According to Financial Times Deutschland, banks JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley have been assigned to launch an auction, and first bids could come in by early November.

Some members of the owners consortium are said to be pushing a sale but haven’t agreed on a price.

Citing insiders, FTD reported some owners want a price of E30 ($38) per share. The aborted deal with Axel Springer had been inked at $28.48 per share, which valued the group at $3.2 billion.

Other reports suggested individual investors may leave the majority consortium, selling their interest to other members or to new investors. Eighty-eight percent of ProSiebenSat 1’s common stock is held by German Media Partners, headed by Saban. The consortium’s other members are Alpine Equity Partners, Bain Capital Investors, Hellman & Friedman, Providence Equity Partners, Putnam Investments, Quadrangle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

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