February 26, 2002 |
He may be ostracized and on the brink of bankruptcy, but German media mogul Leo Kirch is like a wounded bear, weakened but with claws sharp enough to hurt. The reclusive 75-year-old has made a career of squirming out of tight spots created by his complex financial deals and indifference to debt. Despite predictions only a few weeks ago that his empire may collapse, Kirch is hoping to prove that he is the consummate survivor. If he fails, it would have a ripple effect.
February 9, 2002 |
Debt-laden German media giant Kirch Group faced more pressure after Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB said it wanted to sell its stake in the company's money-losing pay-TV operation back to Kirch. British satellite broadcaster BSkyB said it didn't know whether Kirch had the money to pay. BSkyB announced a big fiscal first-half loss after writing off the value of its investment in the Kirch unit. Munich-based Kirch has run up debts of about $4.
February 17, 2001
* EM.TV & Merchandising said that the chairman of its board has resigned over a rescue package under which broadcasting company Kirch Group will take a stake in the troubled media firm. Nickolaus Becker, head of EM.TV's supervisory board since 1997, has reportedly clashed with Kirch boss Dieter Hahn and sought alternative partners for EM.TV, including a consortium led by German publisher WAZ Group.
February 15, 2001 |
Germany's Kirch Group intervened Wednesday after months of haggling to rescue one of Germany's former "new-economy" shooting stars, EM.TV & Merchandising, and secure the coveted rights to Formula One racing events for Kirch's cable sports networks. Under a deal struck Wednesday, Kirch agreed to pay $550 million for half of EM.TV's Formula One holdings and for 25% of EM.TV itself, according to the struggling German entertainment company. EM.
January 9, 2001 |
Kirch Group, Germany's No. 2 media company, said it aims to complete talks within weeks about taking a stake in EM.TV & Merchandising, owner of Jim Henson Co., creator of the Muppets. The shares and bonds of EM.TV continued to slide amid reports the talks may break down. Although Kirch and EM.
December 4, 2000 |
German media giant Kirch Group has agreed to acquire a minority stake in EM.TV & Merchandising, which owns the Muppets characters, and will assume several hundred million dollars in debt, industry sources told Reuters on Sunday. The deal, which comes after the troubled media company slashed profit forecasts for the year Friday, will give privately held Kirch a minority holding rather than the majority stake originally expected.
August 24, 1999 |
Viacom Inc., the world's fourth-largest media company, is in talks to buy a stake in Kirch Group, Germany's second-largest media company, according to Saudi Prince Al Waleed ibn Talal ibn Abdulaziz al Saud. The prince, who has holdings in several media companies, said Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone asked him to broker the transaction last week. "He wants to invest in Kirch and wants us to mediate," Al Waleed said in an interview here.
March 23, 1999 |
Media giant Kirch Group on Monday announced investments of nearly $650 million by Italy's Fininvest and Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal that will create a television joint venture and commit the debt-laden empire of magnate Leo Kirch to an initial public stock offering within three years. The long-awaited deal--aimed at providing Kirch with the cash to stay competitive in commercial and public television--gives 3.2% stakes in the group's subsidiary, Kirch Media, to each of the investors.
March 5, 1999 |
Rupert Murdoch and Canal Plus broke off talks on a possible linkup of Europe's two biggest pay-TV broadcasters, marking another setback in Murdoch's efforts to gain a foothold in continental Europe. Canal Plus said Chief Executive Pierre Lescure told Murdoch at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday that he would consider a linkup with No. 2 British Sky Broadcasting, 40% controlled by Murdoch's News Corp., only if Canal Plus retained management control. BSkyB declined to comment.
March 4, 1999 |
Like an impoverished maiden of yesteryear, the Kirch Group media empire has been primped up and paraded out to lure well-heeled suitors in hopes of financial rescue. But despite the debts pressuring it toward a quick corporate marriage with Italy's Mediaset or Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the giant, privately held conglomerate still owned and run by reclusive founder Leo Kirch has maneuvered to evade proposals that would break its independence.