Kirch files for insolvency

KirchMedia, the sports branch of the Kirch Group which own 75% of F1 trust SLEC, has filed for insolvency with a Munich court and the company has been placed in the hands of an administrator. Italian businessman Silvio Berlusconi and media mogul...

KirchMedia, the sports branch of the Kirch Group which own 75% of F1 trust SLEC, has filed for insolvency with a Munich court and the company has been placed in the hands of an administrator. Italian businessman Silvio Berlusconi and media mogul Robert Maxwell were in talks to take over KirschMedia but the two shareholders couldn't reach an agreement.

Bernie Ecclestone recently made an offer for the SLEC interest thought to be in the region of $900 million but was turned down. Now that bankruptcy has been filed it is likely Ecclestone will be considered if he makes another offer as Kirsch try to cut their losses, having originally paid $3 billion for the 75% stake.

Other rights held by KirchMedia, including the 2002 and 2006 football World Cups, have been dealt with by the company's creditor banks by being passed to a Swiss subsidiary named KirchSports. EM.TV, a German media rights company, has said that due to KirchMedia's debts it may have to cut down the value of its own stake in Formula One -- in the worst case even completely cut the 16.7% interest it has in the company that controls the broadcast rights to F1.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone