August 28, 2017 / 8:17 PM / a year ago

ProSieben looking for investors in TV production, e-commerce units

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE (PSMGn.DE) said it was looking for possible external investors to back its content production and digital commerce businesses, potentially via separate stock market listings.

The logo of Germany's biggest commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG is pictured in front of their headquarters in Unterfoehring, near Munich, Germany in this February 26, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

“The company will enter discussions with interested third parties regarding a potential co-investment in or business combinations with its content production and digital commerce businesses through their respective holding entities,” the broadcaster said in a statement late on Monday.

“The review also includes the possibility for potential future public listings.”

ProSieben has long been struggling to encourage viewers of its TV shows, such as “Germany’s Next Top Model”, to spend money and view ads on its online sites, which include Internet dating and travel agencies.

It said it was also looking into merging its TV advertising business in German-language markets with its Digital Entertainment division, whose activities include video-on-demand and online advertising, to cut costs.

More details would be disclosed on Nov. 9, it added.

Sources with knowledge of the talks told Reuters in June that ProSieben held informal talks with a number of peers about possible tie-ups over the past 12-18 months.

After a promising start, ProSieben’s streaming platform Maxdome has lost ground to U.S. online competitors such as Netflix and Amazon (AMZN.O), and the German group has been aiming to defend its position in the media market by supplying its own content to its streaming rivals.

Also on Monday, it warned that TV advertising revenues in German-language markets would decline in the third quarter but it upheld its full-year profit guidance thanks to a better performance in other divisions while banking on a recovery in TV ad sales later in the year.

“After a promising start into the quarter, early customer feedback for the month of September - which is in terms of revenue contribution the most important month of the current reporting period - suggests that previous expectations ... are unlikely to be met,” it said.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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