Dr. Christoph Wagner focuses on transactions, competition matters and regulatory issues in the media and telecommunications industries.
M&A is a strong focus of Dr. Wagner's practice. He handled among the most visible transactions in German media and telecoms, such as the acquisition and the subsequent sale of the largest German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, the acquisition and restructuring of the pay TV platform Premiere/Sky and the sale of the second and third largest German cable operators Unitymedia and TeleColumbus. Based on his experience and insight into regulatory decision making, he frequently advises on the chances of transactions getting approval already at a very early stage, and then coordinates all aspects of the transaction together with an integrated team of corporate and tax lawyers, all experienced in media and telecom transactions.
Dr. Wagner is a leading media, M&A and regulatory lawyer who is consistently recognized by Chambers and Legal 500 as leading individual. In addition, he was named M&A Lawyer of the Year 2012, Telecommunications Lawyer of the Year 2013 Media Lawyer of the Year 2014 by Best Lawyers. Chambers has referred to Dr. Wagner as "the person who first comes to mind if one thinks about media deals in Germany."
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Dr. Wagner worked with the Media Authority of Berlin, the European Commission and as an expert assistant with the European Parliament. From May 2002 through to April 2007, he served as an alternate member of the German Commission on Concentration in the Media (KEK). Dr. Wagner lectures European media law at the University of Potsdam. In 2000, he was appointed a public notary.
Dr. Wagner has authored several essays and numerous articles in leading German publications, among others on foreign investments in Germany, media concentration, digitalization, net neutrality, online-piracy, platform access, cable carriage and cable consolidation.
- Lead counsel in a number of large media and telecom transactions, including NewsCorp's acquisition and re-financing of Premiere AG/Sky Deutschland; NewsCorp's acquisition of the TV stations Vox and Tm3, as well as the TV rights to the UEFA Champions League; BSkyB's acquisition of a stake in the German pay platform Premiere; Studio Canal’s acquisition of Kinowelt and Tandem, the privatization of the Babelsberg Film Studios; NBCU’s disposition of TV channel "Das Vierte" and the subsequent sale to Disney.
- He advised clients in major studio output deals and film financing projects, including numerous transactions representing third parties and lenders or shareholders, such as the sale of Deutsche Telekom's broadband cable network, the sale of Unitymedia to Liberty Global and the sale of Tele Columbus to KDG.
- He advised on the Kirch/Bertelsmann Pay-TV venture, the Kirch insolvency, as well as the acquisition of Jamba! and Zanox.de AG.
- He was lead counsel to the Saban consortium that acquired control of Germany's largest broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. In 2005, he advised on the proposed sale of the ProSieben broadcasting group to Axel Springer and, in 2006, on the sale to KKR/Permira.
- He advised a Telefónica/Sonera consortium in acquiring a 3G mobile phone license; HighView Media and Ericsson on the acquisition of S-Band (MSS) spectrum and advised a consortium in a bid for a 4G (LTE) license.