Bertelsmann confirms stake reduction plans in RTL

Bertelsmann confirms stake reduction plans in RTL

MUMBAI: German media conglomerate Bertelsmann has confirmed plans to cut its stake in RTL Group, Europe?s largest commercial broadcaster, by selling shares on the stock exchange but will continue to be the majority shareholder with atleast 75 per cent stake.

Bertelsmann, which holds a stake of 92.3 per cent in RTL with 7.7 percent in free float, will reduce its shareholding in RTL Group by way of a secondary public offering.

The German mass media conglomerate will use the cash from the RTL sale for expansion and acquisitions. Media reports say that the company could raise $2.6 billion to $3 billion from the stake sale.

The company said that the transaction would result in a significant increase of the free float in RTL Group shares, with Bertelsmann maintaining a qualified majority of at least 75 per cent.

RTL?s co-CEOs Anke Schaferkordt and Guillaume de Posch said, "Bertelsmann is and will remain the majority shareholder in RTL Group and will continue to support the strategic development of our business. The reduction of Bertelsmann?s shareholding would significantly increase the free float of RTL Group shares, enabling a more diverse ownership base to share in our success."

RTL Group, which is currently listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and the Euronext Brussels market, intends to apply for a listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

In India, RTL has a JV with Reliance Broadcast Networks (RBNL) and the Big RTL JV currently owns and operates Big Thrill channel.

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