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Germany

Business Briefs

American buys television networks, RTL Group slashes its losses, and energy provider RWE's profits plunge.

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For Sale: American Haim Saban has bought the KirchMedia's television networks and is now focusing on it huge film library.

American buys Kirch TV networks

American billionaire Haim Saban signed a contract on Monday to buy the most lucrative leftover of the insolvent Kirch Group, the ProSiebenSat.1 television networks. The purchase price was

Haim Saban

Haim Saban

not announced. After signing the contract, Saban (photo) said, "We are in a good position once the advertising situation improves and the economy in the world's second-largest media market restarts." Saban also is negotiating the purchase of Germany's most extensive film rights library with a catalog of 13,000 feature films and 3,000 televison series owned by the Kirch Group. Saban, a 58-year-old who was born in Egypt, has promised the Bavarian state government that he will keep KirchMedia in Munich and not cut jobs at the company.

RTL group slashes losses

The RTL Group, the largest television and radio chain in Europe, cut its losses from €2.5 billion ($2.67 billion) in 2001 to €56 million last year, the company announced in Luxembourg on Monday. The company expects 2003 will be a difficult year because of a continuing fall in advertising revenues. The company's new chairman, Gerhard Zeiler, said that because of the advertising problem he would focus on controlling costs. The German media giant Bertelsmann owns an 89 percent stake in the RTL Group

Profits fall at energy provider RWE

Germany's second biggest energy provider, RWE, suffered a 22.2 percent drop in net profits last year, the company announced on Monday. The Essen-based company attributed the drop to €1.05 billion ($1.13 billion) to its recent acquisitions and the economic downturn. The acquisitions include the British energy giant Innogy, the Czech gas supplier Transgas and American Water.

Compiled with material from wire services.

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