TS News - Kirch Late On Loan Says Paper

TELE-satellit News, 14 April 1997

Kirch Late On Loan Says Paper
  ROME, Italy, 97/04/14 (TS) -- According to an article published in the
Italian daily "Corriere della Sera", the German media magnate Leo Kirch,
besides mounting debts due to the start of the digital DF-1 package, is
also in financial problems in Italy. Kirch is one of the smaller
shareholders in the Berlusconi dominated TV holding company Mediaset which
operates the private TV channels Italia 1, Rete 4 and Canale 5. The German
magnate several years ago took a loan of around 130 million DEM from Silvio
Berlusconi's company Fininvest which was used to finance Kirch entry
(through a holding company, Pay TV Beteiligungs) into Mediaset.

  The loan was supposed to be returned by March 31st but this date came and
went. A spokesman for the Italian company said that "We have already
contacted Kirch in order to find a solution". This is a very delicate
situation for Kirch and its not a surprise that rumors circulated recently,
which were promptly denied, that Kirch is seriously examining the
possibility of selling his 5,4% stake in Mediaset.

  By: Branislav Pekic

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

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