FEBRUARY 19, 2002
Kirch debt could be as high as $11.35bn
ACCORDING to the highly-influential Wall Street Journal the Kirch Group could have debts and liabilities of $11.35bn - more than twice the accepted figure. The report is based on a study of the company by one of its leading creditors. Kirch is fighting on at the moment and managed to put together a consortium of banks to help the company by buying Kirch's share in publisher Axel Springer for nearly a $1bn. Kirch is also selling off his share in Spain's Telecinco but has struggled to find a buyer.
The report in the Wall Street Journal is going to do nothing to raise confidence in Kirch with companies beginning to circle the wounded media empire looking for the tastiest morsels to grab. Company boss Leo Kirch continues to fight but it looks like time is running out. The big question now is who will buy Kirch's stake in Formula 1.
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