MARCH 13, 2002
Springer considers insolvency suit against Kirch
KIRCH, the commercial rights holder of the Formula 1 World Championship, could come crashing down if the German publishing company Axel Springer decided to institute bankruptcy proceedings against the German media empire. If that happened the control of the rights in F1 could be tied up in legal actions for years to come.
Springer is unhappy with Kirch as the company is refusing to honor a "put" option which forces it to buy a stake in the TV station ProSiebenSAT1 for $750m by the end of April. Springer exercised the option in January but Kirch is arguing that the option is not legally binding because of procedural problems.
Bansk which are working together to try to save Kirch are worried that Springer will spark the collapse of Kirch. They would prefer to see a sale of Kirch's assets (including F1).
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