ProSieben turns to Milbank for sell-off

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has landed the lead role on the sale of the listed German television broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.

The Lawyer understands that the US firm has teamed up with Hogan & Hartson to advise ProSieben on the potential sale of the company to Axel Springer. Hogan is believed to be advising ProSeiben on competition and regulatory issues.

According to reports, ProSieben’s majority stakeholders are poised to open negotiations on the sale of their stake. Axel Springer already holds a 12 per cent stake in the target company.

The sale is now possible because the creditors of the company’s defunct former owner Kirch last week removed a lock-up clause that prevented an earlier sale.

The consortium, which bought the majority stake in ProSieben after Kirch’s collapse in 2002, has agreed to pay Kirch’s creditor’s $15m (£7.8m) to remove the clause.

It is understood that Kirch’s administrator Michael Jaffé is being advised jointly by German firms Görg and Nörr Steifenhofer Lutz.

The deal will be watched closely in the German market because, according to a source close to the deal, if negotiations kick off then it will turn into a huge media battle resulting in offers coming in from other potential bidders.