EM.TV's Becker resigns over Kirch agreement

NICKOLAUS BECKER, the chairman of EM.TV's supervisory board, resigned from his position on Friday over a proposed rescue package aimed at preserving the companies share in SLEC, Bernie Ecclestone's family trust.

German media giant EM.TV, who own a 50 per cent stake in Formula One holding company SLEC, which holds the commercial rights to the sport, struck a deal with rival broadcaster Kirch to rescue their stake which was put in jeopardy following a dramatic drop in share price.

Two days ago, EM.TV and Kirch agreed that Kirch will pay $550 million (US Dollars) for a 24.5 per cent stake in SLEC and also get a 25 per cent voting interest in EM.TV.

Becker claimed that the deal did not offer a "satisfying solution" for EM.TV's shareholders. The financing of the deal has yet to be decided and Kirch have said that the agreement hinges on a $2 billion (US Dollars) credit line being secured before February 24.

According to a report in British newspaper the Financial Times, Kirch have also agreed to acquire an additional 25 per cent stake in SLEC for $987 million (US Dollars).

The option to buy the 25 per cent share in SLEC runs out at the end of February and if the deal goes ahead EM.TV and Kirch will hold a 75 per cent stake in the holding company. Ecclestone would hold the remaining 25 per cent.

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