CLT-UFA - Largest European Entertainment Enterprise Officially Introduced
CLT-UFA Luxembourg, January 14, 1997
Luxembourg - The top management and shareholders representatives today introduced CLT-UFA, Europe´s largest entertainment enterprise, at a press conference at the company's Luxembourg headquarters. "A strong and confident CLT-UFA is now ready to take on the challenges of the global telecommunications market and will play a leading role in an international media market, dominated by U.S. companies", announced the two CEOs, Rémy Sautter and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz.
"The merger confirms GBL´s commitment to audiovisual media", said Didier Bellens, Managing Director of Group Bruxelles Lambert. "We will support CLT-UFA as we did with CLT in the past, reflecting our confidence in this multi-cultural company and its people, whose ability to create quality products is the key to our success."
"CLT-UFA is the culmination of our television and radio strategy at Bertelsmann to become a truly international broadcasting company", added Michael Dornemann, Member of the Bertelsmann Board and Head of its entertainment division. "We are very proud and happy to be part of such an exciting venture."
An approximate turnover of DM 5 billion and stakes in 19 TV and 23 Radio stations in 10 European countries make CLT-UFA the largest broadcasting and entertainment company in Europe. The new entity will also be a major player in audiovisual rights and production. CLT and Bertelsmann subsidiary UFA were brought together to create a European company capable of playing a meaningful and strong part in international media markets. "I believe that we are a perfect example of how one can breathe some life into the political idea of a common European market", said Sautter. "Over the past few months, CLT-UFA has become one big, highly motivated group of talented people, dedicated to creating Europe's most successful entertainment enterprise."
"In the end, what belongs together comes together. We are fullfilling the ambitious dream of RTL's original founders who always envisioned a strong international family of TV, radio and production companies", explained Schmidt-Holtz. "Recent changes to German media law were long overdue. The new legislative framework allows us, at last, to compete with US companies on a level playing field."
The new company will be headed by Chief Executive Officers Rémy Sautter and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz. While Rémy Sautter will be responsible for television in non-German-speaking countries and radio, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz will be in charge of international rights and television in German-speaking countries. The two CEOs will be respectively assisted by the deputies Ferd. Kayser (television in non-German-speaking countries) and Dr. Ewald Walgenbach (television in German-speaking countries). The top management will also include Dan Arendt (Finance), Jean-Michel Kerdraon (Radio) and Jacques Neuen (General Affairs).