Internal Pressures Urge EM.TV Away From Kirch Proposal
Internal tensions have risen at embattled German media firm EM.TV & Merchandising over whether or not to accept German mega-firm Kirch Group's proposed bail out. CEO Thomas Haffa, whose family owns 50% of EM.TV shares, has been reported to favor the Kirch deal. Rumors have suggested that he even asked supervisory board chairman, Nickolaus Becker, to step down from his post. Becker along with other members of the board favor a deal with U.S. investment bank Hellman & Friedman, which would see the sale of EM.TV's 50% stake in Formula One racing, unlike the Kirch deal where EM.TV would only unload half of its shares. The Formula One sale would give EM,TV US$600 million. Further pressure to sign the H&F deal quickly is coming from the various banks to which EM.TV owes hundreds of millions of euros.