Premiere pay TV unveils €450-million capital increase

Premiere pay TV unveils €450-million capital increase
Photo: DPA
The German pay-TV channel Premiere will proceed with a capital increase of €450 million ($630 million) to obtain credits essential for its survival, the group said on Tuesday.

The increase, to be backed by Premiere’s main shareholder, US media group News Corp, is a condition for renegotiated credit of €525 million, and thus “a prerequisite to the survival of the company,” a statement said.

The Italian company Fininvest, which is controlled by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, owns more than three percent of Premiere, while News Corp has a dominant stake of 25.01 percent. News Corp is owned by press baron Rupert Murdoch.

Premiere said it had “to make considerable investments in programming, customer facing technology, marketing and customer service to enhance the offer and attract new subscribers.”

The TV channel has suffered three years of turmoil since it lost exclusive rights to the transmission of German football matches, its most popular programme.

Next year, Premiere said it expected “negative cash flow in a range of €250 million to €275 million and a significant loss” in core earnings.