Independent – Hedge funds Apollo and Octavian have been quietly building up a position in ProSieben, one of Europe’s biggest commercial broadcasters. The move could lead to a showdown with private equity owners Permira, the Damon Buffini-run giant, and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts (KKR). Lord Hollick, who was chief executive at former Daily Express owner United Business Media, represents KKR on the ProSieben board.
It is understood that Apollo and Permira have been buying the struggling German broadcaster’s debt on the cheap. Sources suggested that the pair had been paying only around 30cents for every euro of debt, allowing them to become, in effect, major creditors. "Apollo and Octavian have been buying up debt that is trading at distressed levels and I can see them taking on Permira and KKR over the direction of ProSieben," said a source.