Haim Saban is expected to submit a binding purchase offer to Kirsh in the coming days
Kirsch's creditors did not reach an agreement with the first winner of the tender, publisher Heinrich Bauer, according to a "Variety" report
Sunday, February 23, 2003, 2:29 pm
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Haim Saban is expected to submit a binding purchase offer to Kirsh in the coming days, the "Variety" newspaper reported.
Saban and his deputy for strategic affairs in Germany, Adam Chesnoff, are currently meeting in Germany with the creditors of the bankrupt media group, and are examining Kirsch's account books in another attempt to reach an agreement to purchase its assets.
Kirch's spokesman told "Variety" that Saban's initial, non-binding offer is similar to Bauer's, and that Kirch is awaiting a binding offer from Saban.
Saban and his partners in the consortium that competed for the purchase of Kirsch have so far refrained from submitting a binding offer due to the lack of sufficient information, according to a "Daily Variety" report.
Saban returned to the competition for the purchase of Kirsch last month, after US representatives complained that his purchase offer was rejected on grounds of discrimination against foreigners.
Kirch's creditors chose the publisher Heinrich Bauer - who submitted his bid together with HVB Bank, a Kirch creditor - as the winner of the tender for the purchase of Kirch Media's assets, even though Saban's offer was higher. However, Kirch's creditors did not reach an agreement with Bauer on the details of the agreement. According His original plan was for the German publisher to acquire Prozivan Sat1, Kirch's successful television company, and finance the purchase of Kirch's film library through the sale of Prozivan programs.
But the creditors demanded payment in cash.
Kirsch Media offered for sale its assets - which include 52.5% of the share capital of the largest television company in Germany, Proziben Sat1, an extensive catalog of films and television series, and broadcasting rights for sports events - after filing in April 2002 for bankruptcy protection.
The German media group collapsed under the burden of billions of euros of debt accumulated by its founder Leo Kirsch.
The groups that competed for the purchase of Kirsch wore and wore different formations during the two months in which the tender was held.
In their final configuration, there were three contenders for the purchase.
One included the German publishing company Heinrich Bauer, the HVB bank which is a creditor of Kirsch, and the publisher Axel Springer, who withdrew from the group before the end of the auction.
A second group included Haim Saban and the French TV company TF1, which originally submitted the highest bid in the auction. A third group included Lehman Brothers, the Italian media company owned by Prime Minister Italia Media Set, which withdrew from the race and returned to it recently.
A fourth group, which withdrew from the race, included Commerzbank and Columbia.
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