The German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1 Media is considering the sale of a number of its international channels in order to concentrate on the German language market, according to CEO Thomas Ebeling, quoted in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The broadcaster is mulling the sale of one or more of its operations in Belgium, The Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, all part of the SBS Broadcasting group. The announcement follows a restructuring of its German operations.
SBS will not be sold in all markets. ProSiebenSat.1 wants to concentrate on those territories where it is in the top three spot and has no interest being a minor factor in a particular market. The paper said the broadcaster has hired investment bankers from J.P. Morgan to review options.
In both The Netherlands and Belgium, SBS is the number three broadcaster, with the public broadcaster taking the number one spot in both countries. In Holland, RTL Nederland takes second place, while in Belgium the channels from the VMMa (including VTM) are the runners up.
In Bulgaria, SBS only operates The Voice TV and in Finland The Voice TV and TV Viisi, making these assets likely candidates for selling off. However, in the interview Ebeling said he would not sell the assets in Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania.
The ProSiebenSat.1 Media group said it improved its cost structure in particular by having relocated large parts of its Berlin facilities to Munich last year. With the sale of the news channel N24 and the production company MAZ&More in June 2010, the group took another step to permanently enhance its efficiency.
At the moment, the group’s net financial debt defined as total loans and borrowings minus cash and cash equivalents and current financial assets amounts to €3.284 billion.