Private equity firm KKR placed a 4.7% stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media at 13.50 euros apiece, a bookrunner said, sending shares in the German broadcaster down 4.5% Wednesday.
KKR had bought shares in spring 2020 as an investment, people close to the matter had said earlier.
That move sparked speculation that KKR, which also owns German publisher Axel Springer, may have plans for a combination of the two media companies.
In the first half of 2020, KKR boosted their stake in ProSieben. Back then the speculations concerned that KKR would re-attempt to combine Springer’s legacy print advertising businesses (excluding large classifieds assets) with Pro7’s TV and digital advertising platform to create a larger media operation.
Also speculations suggested that KKR might seek a demerger of ProSieben’s commerce business (Nucom) with its core Entertainment and Content production businesses, and then pursue a merger of the standalone e-commerce entity with Springer’s online assets to achieve better synergies.
ProSieben also features Italy’s Mediaset and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky as investors and some investors had bet on an even larger media merger deal.
KKR and ProSieben declined to comment.
After the placement, KKR continues to hold a roughly 2% stake.