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MARCH 27, 2002

Kirch - today is the day

THE signs are that today will see a decision, one way or the other, on the future of the German media company Kirch, which controls the commercial rights to Formula 1 racing. There are reports that Kirch must raise $175 by midday or else be declared bankrupt.

The Financial Times in London is reporting that Leo Kirch has given up hope of holding on to his empire, but the group of investors who are poised to take over the Kirch Media subsidiary have yet to decide for certain if the rescue will go ahead.

The status of the Formula 1 rights is not known but Kirch is trying to hold on to the rights he acquired for the World Cup competition in 2006.