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By | June 6, 2001

      The German music company Edel Music will sell its 12.1 per cent stake in VIVA to Initiatoren Drei Kapitalbeteiligung, a newly founded investment company formed by VIVA Media’s chairman Dieter Gorny and several private investors.

      The investment groups Initiatoren Eins and Initiatoren Zwei whose shareholders are largely the same as those of Initiatoren Drei already own 3.9 and 3.1 per cent in the Cologne-based music channel respectively. However, no financial details of the deal were disclosed.

      Although Hamburg-based Edel Music had denied plans to sell its VIVA stake in December 2000, its current cash problems have apparently changed the situation. The transaction ends speculation about VIVA’s future shareholding structure. For months it was expected that the Bertelsmann/RTL Group would take over the shares, but after the failed merger between Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and EMI (which owns 18.9 per cent in VIVA) RTL Group’s alleged original plan to smoothly become the channel’s major shareholder broke down. With the sale of Edel’s stake to Initiatoren Drei, Bertelsmann/RTL Group will not be able to get hold of VIVA for the time being.

      In a separate development, Radio GoldStar, the radio service planned by the German pay-TV Schlager channel GoldStar TV, has secured a satellite licence from the Bavarian media authority Bayerische Landeszentrale fur neue Medienvalid until May 31, 2009. The channel is wholly owned by GoldStar TV, in which former DF1 head Gottfried Zmeck and the media group MultiChannel each hold a 50 per cent stake.

      Along with German-language music and German Schlager, Radio GoldStar targets viewers aged over 30. Offering thematic specials (including such genres and big band music) and hourly news bulletins between 06.00 and 20.00 CET, it will be transmitted to DTH homes both in analogue and digital on Astra (19.2 degrees East), as well as eventually via cable. Although an official start date has not yet been revealed,

      Interspace believes the channel will launch this summer. GoldStar TV has been available on digital pay-TV platform Premiere World and on Deutsche Telekom’s digital cable package MediaVision since March 1, 2000.

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