BlackRock Tells ProSiebenSat.1 of Plans to Increase Stake

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BlackRock Inc. plans to increase its voting stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE over the next 12 months as part of its broader investment strategy.

The company could also choose to sell shares if that’s the best course for clients, according a filing Wednesday. BlackRock is the largest stockholder in ProSiebenSat.1 with 22.8 million shares, representing a 10.4 percent stake.

Blackrock said it has no plans to seek a material change in ProSiebenSat.1’s capital structure, according to the filing. The company will exercise its right to vote at the annual meeting, as well as on other matters in the interests of its clients, and intends to exert influence on the appointment or removal of management.

“The investments are aimed at both implementing strategic objectives and at generating a trading profit,” BlackRock said. ProSiebenSat.1, which owns a group of free and pay-TV channels, declined to comment.

ProSiebenSat.1’s stock has declined 13 percent since the start of the year. The shares rose 1.5 percent to 40.81 euros as of 4 p.m. Thursday in Germany.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised selling the shares last month, saying the company’s e-commerce business has little room to expand profit margins because of heavy competition. Chief Executive Officer Thomas Ebeling told investors June 30 that the company may pursue further deals and partnerships for its digital business, including e-commerce and entertainment.

— With assistance by Stefan Nicola, and Sabrina Willmer

(Updates with company comment in fourth paragraph.)
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