Reuters: KKR, Permira Sell $1 billion Stake in German Broadcaster ProSieben

(Reuters) – KKR (KKR.N) and Permira PERM.UL, the controlling owners of ProsiebenSat.1 (PSMGn.DE), are selling a quarter of their stake in the German free-to-air broadcaster, the two private equity firms said.

The accelerated bookbuilding process for an 11 percent stake that is worth roughly 800 million euros ($1.05 billion) will start immediately, the investors said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

They are hoping to sell the shares at around 31 euros apiece, a discount of roughly 4 percent to Tuesday’s closing price of 32.29 euros, a source familiar with the transaction told Reuters.

After the placement, KKR and Permira will retain a combined stake of 33 percent in ProsiebenSat.1.

The investors had announced months ago that they were planning to reduce their holdings through share placements.

They will use the proceeds from transaction to repay debt at the level of Lavena Holding 1, the investment vehicle which owns the ProsiebenSat.1 shares and is held jointly by KKR and Permira.

People familiar with the investors’ plans told Reuters last month that KKR and Permira are looking to wind down their ProSieben stake in several steps after failing to find a buyer for all the shares.

A gradual exit has become easier following the conversion of ProSieben’s non-voting preference shares into more liquid voting common shares.

KKR and Permira bought a controlling stake in ProSiebenSat.1 in 2006 and merged it with SBS Broadcasting, a media group they had acquired a year earlier.

ProSieben shares have gained 54 percent this year, outperforming the European media benchmark .SXMP, which is up 17 percent.

($1 = 0.7601 euros)