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Axel Springer Buys ProSiebenSat.1 From Saban

Axel Springer Verlag, the largest German publishing company, has purchased a majority stake in ProSiebenSat.1, Germanys largest commercial broadcasting network, from Haim Saban and an investment group including Quadrangle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Springer assumes 62.5% ownership and full control of voting shares. The price was $3.1 billion (EUR2.5 billion); the investors had purchased the network for $1.3 billion in 2003 from bankrupt former owner KirchMedia. ProSieben operates five free terrestrial channels in Germany.

The deal is pending approval by Germanys media and competition watchdogs, the REPORTER says. Since the deal would put Germanys largest publishing company, top tabloid (BILD) and main broadcaster under the same ownership, approval is not a given. If the deal