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EM.TV dives again

THE share price of Thomas Haffa's EM.TV, owner of half the shares in Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One group of companies, tumbled again on Tuesday with nearly 20% of the value of the company being wiped out in the course of the morning trading on Frankfurt's Neuer Markt stock exchange. The shares bottomed out at 17.58 Euros ($15) - giving the firm a notional value of $1.8bn - which is only just more than Haffa paid for the F1 shares last Spring.

Market analysts say it is now inevitable that a bid will be made for the whole company. Likely bidders for EM.TV are rival media companies AOL Time Warner, The Walt Disney Co and Bertelsmann who are eager to get hold of EM.TV's library of TV programming and merchandising licences. It is unlikely that either of these companies would chose to remain a shareholder in Formula 1 although Disney might chose to do so as it owns the ABC and ESPN TV channels in the United States and so could secure the TV rights to the sport in the United States as part of the deal.

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