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Discovery Considering Bid for ProSieben Assets

Discovery Communications is considering making a bid for German broadcaster ProSieben‘s Nordic TV assets, Reuters reported. Bids for ProSieben’s TV and radio stations in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway were due by midnight Friday, Reuters wrote. ProSieben, majority-owned by buyout shops Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Permira, is selling assets to pay down debt.

(Reuters) – Discovery Communications is considering making a bid for ProSieben’s Nordic TV assets, which the German broadcaster has put up for sale, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Bids for ProSieben’s TV and radio stations in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway were due by midnight Friday.

Discovery declined comment.

Sweden-based broadcaster Modern Times Group (MTG) is also interested, one of the people said on Friday.

MTG also declined comment but had said in February it was interested in the assets.

ProSieben, which is majority-owned by private equity firms KKR [KKR.UL] and Permira [PERM.UL], is selling its SBS broadcasting operations in the Nordic countries as well as the Netherlands and Belgium to pay down debt.

It bought SBS broadcasting in 2007 to create a pan-European rival to RTL Group .

That strategy never really played out but left ProSieben with a load of debt, which stood at 3.02 billion euros by the end of 2010.

The Munich-based company, whose shows include the hit vampire series Moonlight and U.S. comedy-drama Desperate Housewives, is broadcast for free mainly via cable and satellite and reaches about 78 million households in 14 European countries.

(Reporting by Peter Maushagen, Arno Schuetze, Nicola Leske in Frankfurt, Sven Nordenstam in Stockholm and Paul Thomasch in New York)