Highlight: Successful bid for Constantin will end crippling blockades
Highlight Communications, the Swiss company that owns Team Marketing, an agency partner of Uefa, is proceeding with a takeover bid for its parent company Constantin Medien.
The move, which was confirmed on Monday, is being driven by Highlight Communications’ major shareholder Bernhard Burgener and would lead to Sport1 and production company Plazamedia again coming under the same umbrella as the Constantin Film unit.
Constantin Medien assets include the Sport1 Media sports media marketing arm and, through Highlight Communications, a stake in Team, which distributes commercial rights to Uefa club competitions.
The offer from Highlight Communications and its partner Studhalter Investment values Constantin Medien at €2.30 ($2.73) per share or $151 million overall.
Burgener, the former chief executive of Constantin Medien and chairman at Highlight Communications, was previously embroiled in a power struggle with Dieter Hahn, the renowned German media executive.
Highlight said a successful bid “will help to put an end to the crippling blockades” that arose from the previous dispute.
Studhalter Investment, which is headed up by Swiss financier Alexander Studhalter, acquired a participation of 28.7 per cent in Highlight Event and Entertainment in a capital increase implemented yesterday.
Highlight Event and Entertainment has a stake of 25 per cent in Highlight Communications and a stake of almost 30 per cent in Constantin Medien.
Highlight Communications was until recently a subsidiary of Constantin Medien until the latter had to give up its majority as the Swiss company had increased its capital.
In a statement, Highlight said: “A successful takeover offer will help to put an end to the crippling blockades that arose in connection with the disagreements with the former CMAG [Constantin Medien AG] management until August 2017 and to focus on the reorganisation and further development of the group in order to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.”
Constantin Medien said today: "The Management Board of Constantin Medien AG is hereby acknowledging Highlight Communications AG's decision announced on November 27, 2017, to launch a takeover bid together with Studhalter Investment AG to the shareholders of Constantin Medien AG, is reviewing it and will issue a statement in due course."
In September, Constantin Medien and Highlight Communications reached a settlement to resolve the legal row between the two companies.
Burgener, who is also the president of top Swiss soccer club FC Basel, recently gained the upper hand in the dispute as Hahn stood down as Constantin Medien’s supervisory board chairman.
Hahn has since been selling tranches of his shares, according to German reports.
At the end of last year, Hahn made a takeover bid for
Constantin Medien, alongside KF 15 GmbH, his holding company, and the
Munich-based DHV GmbH.
The offer from Hahn amounted to a bid to all shareholders at a price of €2.30 per share and an offer of €6 per free share of Highlight Communications.