TS News - SBS Interested In TMC Stake

TELE-satellit News, 20 February 1997

SBS Interested In TMC Stake
  ROME, Italy, 97/02/20 (TS) -- Italian senator and media magnate Vittorio
Cecchi Gori is currently involved in negotiations with several foreign
media companies who are interested in taking a stake in his TV interests.
Back in 1995, Cecchi Gori bought 2 TV channels, Telemontecarlo (TMC) and
Videomusic, for more than 200 billion lira (200 million DEM). Last year he
bought the broadcast TV rights for Italian league football for 213 billion
lira. He is desperately in need of fresh cash in order to fulfill his dream
to become the third competitor on the Italian TV market after RAI and

  According to some sources in the industry, the company Scandinavian
Broadcasting System (SBS) has expressed interest in buying a 49% stake in
TMC for an undisclosed sum. SBS is a Swedish-American media company headed
by Jan Steinbeck of which ABC/The Walt Disney Company is one of the major
shareholders. It owns several TV companies in Scandinavia (among them TV3
and TV4) but has no media interests in South Europe. There have been no
comments from SBS but according to a statement by Cecchi Gori Group "we
categorically deny rumors circulating about a selling stake in our TV

  Several days ago, rumors circulated that the German media giant
Bertesmann was interested in buying a stake in Cecchi Gori Group. The
Italian press reported contacts between the Swiss bank UBS (representing
Cecchi Gori) and Dresdner Bank (acting for Bertelsmann) to that effect. A
stake in Cecchi Gori's channels TMC and TMC2/Videomusic would be especially
interesting for foreign investors if two principal conditions were met. The
first is that the channels become visible throughout all of Italy and the
second is the passing of legislation for frequency distribution.

  By: Branislav Pekic

(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.

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