The private equity firms that control European broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, KKR and Permira, will be free to exit the business after shareholders approved a stock conversion deal at the company’s AGM today (Tuesday 23 July).
The private equity firms will hold a 44% stake in the German broadcast and media group once the conversion is approved and entered into the commercial register, which is expected to happen in August.
The company’s shareholders have voted to convert non-preferred into common stock, meaning that the private equity firms can sell their stake in the company although there is no guarantee that will happen.
A ProSiebenSat.1 spokesman told TBI: “After the deal they will hold a 44% stake, but we do not know if and when they will sell.”
Prior to the swap, KKR and Permira own 88% of voting shares.
ProSiebenSat.1’s assets include the ProSieben and Sat.1 channels in Germany and production-distribution arm Red Arrow Entertainment.
The pair’s share is worth an estimated €3.4 billion (US$4.5 billion). They bought the company from Haim Saban in December 2006 following an asset auction but have reportedly been seeking an exit for some time now.
This year, they have been searching for a buyer for the company but have not been able to find one as of yet.
Further to the news, KKR executive Johannes Huth has been named chairman of ProSiebenSat.1’s supervisory board, replacing Götz Mäuser, who will remain a board member. Permira managing partner Dr. Jörg Rockenhäuser has been named vice chair.