GROUPE AB BECOMES MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER IN RTL9
CLT-UFA Luxembourg, March 3, 1998,
CLT-UFA and Groupe AB announce today that they are in the process of finalising a long-form agreement under which Groupe AB will acquire from CLT-UFA 65% of the share capital of RTL9, the Luxembourg based channel. Subject to decision to be made by Banque Populaire de Lorraine, which currently owns 2.25% of RTL9, CLT-UFA will hold at least 33.5% of the channel.
RTL9, a family entertainment channel is the leading cable and satellite channel in France. It will continue to be broadcasted from the CLT-UFA Kirchberg site in Luxembourg in terrestrial to 650,000 homes and will also be distributed via cable to 2.1 million cable households in France and Switzerland as well as via satellite to 386,000 subscribers of the TPS DTH service.
Rémy Sautter, President and CEO of CLT-UFA, said: In the last two years we have deeply restructured RTL9 to bring it at a stage at which an alliance with a strong rights holder and content provider means immediate synergies and stable profitability.
President and CEO of Groupe AB, Claude Berda, said: The acquisition is a perfect fit for Groupe AB. We expect RTL9, which will benefit from operational synergies with our existing thematic channel business, to be profitable in 1998. Strategically, we are very pleased to be adding this highly popular channel with very wide distribution to our content portfolio.
Groupe AB is the largest independent producer and distributor of television programming in France. The company owns or controls rights to over 30,000 hours of programming for French-speaking Europe. Groupe AB, through its wholly owned subsidiary AB Sat, also operates a digital DTH service of 20 thematic channels.