Permira cutting Premiere stake

Television company Premiere will complete its €700m IPO in March following an executive resolution supporting the move. The size of the offering is yet to be finalised due to decisions on the size of the secondary tranche, which could see Permira significantly reduce its 54.76% stake.

The German IPO market saw relatively little activity in 2004, but Premiere is taking no chances. The company has appointed an 11-bank syndicate, including three global co-ordinators, to manage the placement. This could see the IPO dwarf the DM829m (€423.9m) IPO of ProSieben Sat1 Media in 1997, currently the largest media IPO in Germany. HVB, CSFB and Morgan Stanley are the global co-ordinators.

Premiere will trade on the Prime Standard section of the Frankfurt exchange. The company will give further details of the offer as it moves closer, including the release of full-year results on February 1. But Premiere has already confirmed that subscribers to its satellite television channels will receive preferential allocations in the offer, with a guarantee they will receive a minimum number of shares.

Premiere completed a period of restructuring in 2002, and some of the funds raised in the offer will pare down remaining debt as well as provide finance for future investment. The company achieved positive earnings for the first time in Q3 2004.