Kirch Beteiligung to offload Springer?

KIRCH BETEILIGUNG, the embattled firm which owns the majority of the Formula One group of companies, is trying to sell its 40% stake in German publishing company Axel Springer in order to stay afloat. The sale could bring in $1bn in much-needed cash from German banks, which have first call on the stake thanks to pledges made by Kirch on other loans. The problem is that there are a lot of banks involved as Kirch's system of pledging was rather complex and this may take some months to unravel. This is not good news for Kirch Beteiligung which is trying to survive despite heavy debts.

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