TS News - Kirch Denies Mediaset Sale
TELE-satellit News, 29 March 1997
Kirch Denies Mediaset Sale
ROME, Italy, 97/03/29 (TS) -- The German media group Kirch has responded
to press reports in the Italian media that they plan to sell their share in
the holding TV company Mediaset. A statement issued by the company said
that "We have all intention to remain as a shareholder in Mediaset and we
don't have plans of selling our stake". Previous press reports had said
that Kirch, which holds a 4.5% stake in Mediaset, plans to sell 2% of its
stake to other investors and is also interested in selling its 45% stake in
pay-TV network Telepiu.
However, the Italian daily "Corriere della Sera" reports that from next
month, the so-called "lock-up" agreement signed between Fininvest, the
principal shareholder of Mediaset and its strategic partners Nethold/Canal
Plus, PTB (Leo Kirch's holding company) and Saudi prince Al Waleed is set
to expire. Under the terms of this agreement, from April 12th, the Mediaset
shareholders will be able to sell their shares (at special prices and under
certain conditions) which amount to 13,1% of the total capital. Silvio
Berlusconi's company Fininvest holds a majority stake - 50,7%.
There has been some speculation that Al Waleed, who bought a 2,3% stake
in Mediaset back in 1995, is seeking to sell his participation which is
valued at around 200 million DEM. Al Waleed is allegedly in need of cash
for financing his new acquisitions.
By: Branislav Pekic
(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.
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