Saban's KirchMedia Buy Hits Snag

Haim Saban's plan to buy KirchMedia has hit a snag because KirchMedia creditor banks are refusing to accept some terms of the deal, which they claim are different than what Saban originally proposed. "The most recently presented business plan (11 April) has substantial disadvantages for the banks' position in comparison with the originally presented business plan," credit bank, cooperative DZ Bank said in a two-page letter, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Saban agreed in March 2003 to buy Germany's largest commercial broadcaster, ProSiegenSat.1 Media and its library of television programming, which would have given a Hollywood player control over a major German TV asset for the first time. The other credit banks involved are Commerzbank, BayernLB and HVB Group. They claimed that repayment of loans had been significantly reduced for 2004 and 2005 and the maturity extended. Some of the agreements and letters are now being translated into a proper loan contract. Other parties may still join Saban's bid to help with the financing such as broadcaster TF1 in France. Italian media group Mediaset, controlled by prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, is said to be in talks with Saban about KirchMedia.