Telegraaf sells stake in German broadcaster ProSieben
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Telegraaf Media Group (TMG) (TLGNc.AS) has sold its stake in Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 (PSMGn.DE), becoming the latest shareholder to take advantage of the free-to-air broadcaster's recent share conversion.
The Dutch media company said on Friday it had placed 13.13 million shares in ProSieben, representing a 6 percent stake, at 30 euros a share, a 3.5 percent discount to Thursday's closing market price. It raised net proceeds of about 391 million euros ($513 million).
ProSieben last month converted its non-voting preference shares into more liquid voting common shares, which makes it easier for investors to sell their stock.
On Thursday private equity firms KKR (KKR.N) and Permira PERM.UL placed 11 percent of ProSieben at 30.67 euros a share.
The finance chief of TMG, which publishes "De Telegraaf", the largest circulation daily newspaper in the Netherlands, said the company used the opportunity to divest a stake not anymore regarded as strategic.
"TMG has a clear ambition to be the Dutch media company of the future and TMG's holding in ProSiebenSat.1 as such is non-core," Fred Arp said in a statement.
The stake sales have increased ProSieben's market free float to 65 from 50 percent of its shares, bringing it a step nearer to Prosieben's goal of being included in Germany's DAX share index .GDAXI.
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German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse's (DB1Gn.DE) next review of the DAX's composition is due next September.
"It looks like ProSiebenSat.1 could fight with Metro (MEOG.DE) and Brenntag (BNRGn.DE) for DAX membership next year," said Silke Schluensen from brokerage Close Brothers Seydler.
Uwe Streich, an index expert at LBBW, said ProSieben would need a free float of 87 percent for a fast-lane entry, which would allow it entry into the DAX before next year.
Shares in TMG were up 1.6 percent at 13.1 euros at 1055 GMT, off an earlier high of 13.795 euros, with analysts saying they expected the company to pay a special dividend or buy back shares.
"We expect a large part of the proceeds to be returned to shareholders," said Johan van den Hooven, analyst at SNS Securities.
"For years the stake in ProSiebenSat1 reflected a large chunk of TMG's total valuation, recently around 70 percent. The sale will unlock this value," he added.
A TMG spokesman said that the proceeds will flow into restructuring provisions, paying down debt and a dividend, without specifying how much will be dedicated to what.
The company booked a profit of 160 million euros on the stake, which had a book value of 230.8 million. Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) acted as sole bookrunner for TMG's placement.
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Sara Webb and Alexander Hübner; Editing by David Holmes and Greg Mahlich)
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