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Kirch Group

BUSINESS
May 14, 2002 | Associated Press
Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB satellite broadcaster said it will force Germany's collapsing Kirch media conglomerate to repay $1.5 billion, money the Munich-based company probably doesn't have. BSkyB said in a statement it was exercising an option granted when it bought a 22% stake in KirchPayTV, the failed pay television wing of Kirch Group, Germany's largest private broadcaster.
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BUSINESS
April 9, 2002 | CAROL J. WILLIAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Media mogul Leo Kirch's core television and rights-trading businesses filed for protection from creditors Monday, heralding the biggest bankruptcy in post-World War II Germany and rocking national institutions from the chancellery to the Bundesliga soccer league.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2002 | CAROL J. WILLIAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2002 | Associated Press
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.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
February 15, 2001 | CAROL J. WILLIAMS and SALLIE HOFMEISTER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
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.
BUSINESS
January 9, 2001 | From Bloomberg News
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.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2000 | From Reuters
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.
BUSINESS
December 16, 1999 | JAMES BATES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Kirch Group, the German television giant that threw huge sums of money at Hollywood three years ago to lock up film and TV rights for its fledgling digital pay-TV systems, on Wednesday sued Universal Studios Inc. for more than $2 billion, saying that it isn't happy with what the studio is producing. The lawsuit argues that Kirch was effectively duped because Universal isn't the studio now that it was then.
BUSINESS
August 24, 1999 | From Bloomberg News
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.
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