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EM.TV deal with Kirch not finalized yet

THE recently-announced deal for Bavarian media baron Leo Kirch to buy a 25% share of EM.TV and to take over 49% of the Formula One group of companies is not yet definite. Kirch has offered to pay EM.TV $550m for the Formula 1 stake. The deal is being hammered out at the moment but EM.TV boss said that nothing is yet finalized and that there are several conditions on which the deal is dependent. Haffa told a German magazine that he was open to other offers, if there are any.

There has been some speculation in recent days that The Walt Disney Company might be interested in acquiring EM.TV to get hold of its extensive television library and merchandising deals. It is no known whether Disney would also be interested in the stake in Formula One but it might make sense as Disney's subsidiaries ABC Television and ESPN are rumored to be bidding for the TV rights to Formula 1 in the United States of America. Disney is also involved as a shareholder in a number of sports channels around the world, including Eurosport and the Japan Sports Channel and Germany's RTL2.

In the interim the markets are watching to see what happens with the legal actions surrounding EM.TV. The share price has now stabilized at around 7 Euros ($6) but it is making no progress.

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