* JP Morgan to explore sale or IPO - sources
* KKR, Permira own 88 pct of ProSieben's voting shares
* Owners to convert preference shares into common shares
By Arno Schuetze and Philipp Halstrick
FRANKFURT, Feb 4 Private equity owners KKR
and Permira have mandated JP Morgan to
explore an exit from German media group ProSiebenSat.1
, two persons familiar the companies involved told
"JP Morgan will check whether anchor investors in the media
business or companies are interested in ProSieben as a whole or
whether the private equity owners' shares have to be floated,"
one person said.
KRR and Permira, which own 88 percent of the voting shares,
with Dutch publisher Telegraaf Media Group holding
the remaining 12 percent, said in December they would prepare an
exit following the sale of ProSieben's Scandinavian activities.
The $1.7 billion disposal to Discovery Communications
is expected to close in the current quarter.
After ProSieben's shareholders meet on July 23, the two
private equity owners intend to convert non-voting preference
shares into ordinary shares, all of which will be admitted to
trading at the stock exchange.
"They (JP Morgan) have been advisory bank of choice for KKR
and Permira for years and are now slowly preparing ground for
the exit," another person said, added that not much will happen
before the shareholders meeting in July.
ProSieben, KKR and Permira declined to comment.
ProSieben will be the second major European media asset to
be made available this year.
Last week privately-held Bertelsmann, Europe's
biggest media group, said it was considering whether to sell a
small part of its 92.3-percent stake in RTL Group.
RTL and ProSieben are the two dominant players on the German
commercial television market.
Permira and KKR in 2006 bought a controlling stake in
ProSiebenSat.1 and merged it with SBS Broadcasting, a media
group they bought a year earlier.
The transaction valued ProSiebenSat.1 at 5.9 billion euros.
ProSieben's current market capitalization is around 2.8 billion
euros, according to Reuters data.