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Will EM.TV’s fate be settled soon?

Exclusive talks between media groups EM.TV and Kirch are due to end today.

The period of exclusivity between German media group EM.TV and rival Kirch Media, locked in negotiations over the terms of a takeover offer, is due to expire today. Although an agreement has not been reached, the parties have not arranged to meet, according to the Financial Times. “To my knowledge, they are not planning to meet this week”, a spokesman for EM.TV is quoted as saying in the newspaper.

Kirch is understood to be willing to pay E550m and its share in a children's programme joint venture for a 25 per cent voting right in EM.TV and half the company's 50 per cent stake in SLEC, which manages the media rights to Formula One events.

If Kirch and EM.TV fail to reach an agreement, executives at Disney are said to be interested in buying the Jim Henson Company, creator of the Muppets. EM.TV acquired the Henson Company last year.

Another potential suitor is a consortium including Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, the private equity arm of Deutsche Bank Tele Munchen Group, a media unit which is 45 per cent owned by EM.TV, is part of the consortium, as is US private equity house Hellman & Friedman.