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IN BRIEF

Saban Leads in Bid for KirchMedia

March 12, 2003|From Reuters

Media billionaire Haim Saban has edged ahead in the bidding for insolvent German television group KirchMedia as the yearlong auction nears an end, sources close to the deal said.

Rival bidder Heinrich Bauer Verlag will have to improve its offer in last-minute negotiations if it is to regain the lead in bidding for the assets, which include Germany's largest TV broadcaster and a vast library of film rights, the sources said.

After extensive talks since the collapse of Leo Kirch's media empire, KirchMedia creditors said the group's management must pick a finalist by the end of this week.

KirchMedia, Saban and Heinrich Bauer declined to comment.

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