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A busy week for Mr E

BERNIE ECCLESTONE has been keeping busy in recent days with a trip to New York to try to sell the Minardi team to a large merchant bank and then a rush back to London for a meeting with the deputy chairman of the Kirch Group Dieter Hahn to discuss the details of a deal if Kirch as expected takes over the flailing EM.TV media company. EM.TV's share price dived again on Friday, bottoming out at 15.11 Euros ($13) after the company announced that it was not going to hit its sales and revenue targets for 2000. The company had forecast earnings of $235m but now says that it will be only one tenth of that figure.

It looks increasingly likely that Bavarian media baron Leo Kirch will take over EM.TV from his former employee Thomas Haffa. The exact details of the deal are not yet clear but it may take the form of a merger with one of the Kirch subsidiaries. Whatever the case it will be a bargain as Kirch will pick up a huge amount of family TV viewing and merchandising deals and will get EM.TV's stake in Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One group of companies virtually for free.

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