Wires

Buyout firms, Discovery eye ProSieben units-sources

* BC Partners, EQT, Providence, Discovery showed interest

* Price tag seen at up to 1.4 bln euros

* Final bids due later this months

By Sven Nordenstam and Arno Schuetze

STOCKHOLM/FRANKFURT, Oct 10 (Reuters) - ProSiebenSat1

has attracted interest from private equity firms anda media group for its Scandinavian operations, which could sellfor up to 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion), three peoplefamiliar with the sale process said.

Private equity firms BC Partners , EQT, ProvidenceEquity Partners and network Discovery Communicationshave shown interest for the assets, according to two people, whodeclined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak tomedia.

ProSieben had attempted to sell the division last year butcancelled the process as offers were too low. However, in Augustthis year, the German media company said it was looking into thepossibility of selling again after having received expressionsof interest for the division.

Two people said offers, which are likely to come in laterthis month, could be between 1.2 billion and 1.4 billion euros.

The unit is considered an attractive asset in economicuncertain times.

"It's based in stable economies outside the euro zone sovery interesting for a lot of bidders," a person familiar withthe process said.

ProSieben's Nordic activities generated 476 million euros in2011 revenue out of a group total of 2.97 billion euros. Thegroup has not disclosed separate earnings results.

In the first half of this year ProSieben reported increasesin its key audiences in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

In Denmark market share jumped to 18.9 percent from 16.2percent a year earlier, while it has a 18.8 percent of theNorwegian markets, up from 16.9 percent a year earlier.

Discovery Communications, whose cable networks also includeTLC and Animal Planet, showed interest in the unit last year."They were the first ones to show renewed interest in thebusiness this year," a person close to ProSieben said.

The person also said the company would not hesitate to keepthe asset if bids again came in too low.

Any proceeds from the sale would likely be used for debtreduction.

Modern Times Group , one of the bidders last year,is not mulling an offer, however. The Swedish company would runinto regulatory obstacles, a person close to the group said.

BC Partners, EQT and Discovery Communications declined tocomment. Providence did not reply to requests for comment.

"There are interested parties for these attractive assets.We have not received any indicative offers," said a ProSiebenspokesman, declining to give any further comment.

ProSieben is controlled by private equity firms KKR & Co

and Permira , who together own 88 percent ofvoting shares. Dutch publisher Telegraaf Media Groupowns 12 percent of voting shares.($1 = 0.7754 euros)

(Additional reporting by Peter Maushagen and Philipp Halstrickin Frankfurt, Simon Meads in London, Jennifer Saba in New York,Writing by Harro ten Wolde)

((harro.tenwolde@thomsonreuters.com)(+49 69 7565 1271)(ReutersMessaging: harro.tenwolde.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: PROSIEBEN NORDICS/