ProSiebenSat.1 hit by delay in financial statements

Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 has delayed the publication of its annual and consolidated financial statements for the 2022 financial year after a regulatory problem surfaced in relation to its Jochen Schweizer mydays subsidiaries.

The broadcaster said that it had found, on the basis of an external assessment, that he business activities of its two subsidiaries Jochen Schweizer GmbH and mydays GmbH, which essentially consist of the distribution of vouchers, fall in part under the German Payment Services Supervision Act (Zahlungsdiensteaufsichtsgesetz – ZAG).

The company is examining making an adjustment to the business model of Jochen Schweizer mydays to bring it into regulatory alignment.

The move means that ProSiebenSat.1’s planned annual press conference cannot take place tomorrow as scheduled.

As a result of the later publication of the Annual and Consolidated Financial Statements, the date for the company’s AGM, scheduled for May 2, may also have to be postponed, it said.

The press conference, a first outing for new CEO Bert Habets, had been widely anticipated, and news of the delay resulted in a drop in ProSiebenSat.1’s share price.

Jochen Schweizer mydays accounts for only 1.6% of the group’s overall revenue, and the regulatory concern is unlikely to have a big impact on its results. ProSiebenSat.1 is currently standing by its existing forecast for the full year.

News of the delay in the company’s results comes a week after Renáta Kellnerová, the widow of deceased Czech billionaire Petr Kellner and the richest woman in that country, became ProSiebenSat.1’s second largest shareholder after acquiring a 9.1% stake, with the option to acquire a further 0.9%.

Kellnerová’s PPF Group, founded by Kellner, owns CEE broadcaster CME and a number of other media assets.

Kellnerová’s acquisition of a stake follows a progressive sell-down by another Czech investor, Daniel Kretinsky, whose Czech Media Invest acquired a 12% stake in 2020.

Kretinsky, who was seen as an ally of the Berlusconi family’s MediaForEurope, which has called for Europe-wide media consolidation, is in a relationship with Kellnerová’s daughter, Anna Kellnerová, and Kellner was previously Kretinsky’s business partner in energy holding company EPH.

Kellner, whose PPF investment vehicle took over CME from previous majority owner AT&T in 2019 in a deal that valued the company at US$2.1 billion, was killed in a helicopter crash in Alaska in 2021.

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