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Tue 29 Oct 2002 04:00 AM

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Alwaleed places bid for KirchMedia’s majority stake in ProSiebenSat 1

While shadowing HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on a two day visit to the UAE, Arabian Business has learned that Kingdom Holding Company, which Prince Alwaleed is chairman of, is placing a bid today for KirchMedia’s majority stake in ProSiebenSat 1, Germany’s largest free to air broadcasting network.

While shadowing HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Arabian Business has learned that Kingdom Holding Company, which Prince Alwaleed is chairman of, is placing a bid today for KirchMedia’s majority stake in ProSiebenSat 1, Germany’s largest free to air broadcasting network.KirchMedia filed for insolvency in April 2002 after its parent company ran out of cash. The company has US $9bn in disclosed debt“We are bidding with a consortium made of Commerz Bank, Kingdom Holding Company, Lehman Merchant Banking and Mediaset,” P.L. Shoucair, special advisor on international investments to Prince Alwaleed told Arabian Business. “We are bidding basically for the 52% stake that KirchMedia owns in ProSiebenSat 1, and also for the KirchMedia library.” “The idea is that this consortium enters into exclusive negotiations with the receivers based on this bid and during the time period, exclusive negotiations should last 4-6 weeks and definitive agreements will be signed. But a bid today will be placed.”While Shoucair declined to comment on the potential size of the bid, he did say that the make up of the consortium was significant itself. “Media setters joined the consortium, that’s very big news, because we needed a strategic opening partner to run the broadcasting assets.” KirchMedia's minority shareholders, include Silvio Berlusconi who owns Mediaset and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

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