Banks ‘ready’ to support MFE move on ProSiebenSat.1


Source: ProSiebenSat.1

MediaForEurope (MFE) has held talks with banks that could fund a potential bid for Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 worth up to €4 billion, according to a report by Reuters.

According the report, citing unnamed sources and documents seen by Reuters, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and UniCredit are ready to support an offer for ProSiebenSat.1 shares from MFE, along with debt financing that could be required.

Reuters reports that MFE does not currently have plans to launch a bid, but that it held discussions late last year and early this year with potential financial backers.

News of MFE’s moves comes as ProSiebenSat.1 reported “a very good start” to the year, with Q1preliminary revenues up 6% to €867 million and adjusted EBITDA up 35% to €72 million.

According to the broadcaster, revenues were boosted by a stronger ad market, along with ongoing growth in digital and ‘smart’ advertising revenues, driven by progress from streaming platform Joyn.

The streamer recorded an increase of 36% in monthly video users and a rise in AVoD revenues of 50% in the first quarter compared to the previous year quarter.

While ProSiebenSat.1’a dating and video business saw revenues slip, the broadcaster reported a strong start to the year from price comparison site Verivox and online beauty provider Flaconi, both of which the company is in the process of selling.

CFO Martin Mildner said that the results showed that “he consistent implementation of our strategy is taking effect”.

He noted that the broadcaster was “able to close the first quarter of 2024 not only with revenue growth, but also with significant earnings growth due to consistent cost management”.

MFE, ProSiebenSat.1’s biggest shareholder, and the broadcaster are currently engaged in a battle over the company’s future strategy and the composition of its board.

Backing from major banks is likely to strengthen MFE’s hand. ProSiebenSat.1 for its part in the last few days secured the support of proxy advisers ISS and Glass Lewis, who recommended that shareholders vote against proposals by MFE and Czech investor PPF ahead of the Germany group’s annual shareholder meeting on April 30.

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