European Commission approves new shareholding structure of RTL Group
Luxembourg/ Brussels, 11 May 2001. – The European Commission today announced its approval of the acquisition of a further 30 per cent stake by Bertelsmann AG in the leading European broadcasting and production company RTL Group. The transaction, which was announced on 5 February, gives Bertelsmann a majority of 67 per cent in RTL Group. Bertelsmann acquired the additional 30 per cent stake from Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) which in return received a 25 per cent stake in Bertelsmann AG. The transaction is to be completed on 2 July. The position of the remaining shareholders of RTL Group, Pearson plc with 22 per cent and the public with 11 per cent, does not change with the transaction. The GBL representatives on RTL Group‘s Board of Directors remain in place.
„We are very pleased about the approval of the transaction by the European Commission, and we are convinced that it is for the benefit of all our shareholders“, said Didier Bellens, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group. „With Bertelsmann and Pearson as shareholders we are perfectly positioned to continue our growth and to develop our leading European position. GBL has played a key role in the creation and development of RTL Group, and we are pleased that they will retain their strong link to RTL Group through their shareholding in Bertelsmann. Following this acquisition of a majority stake by Bertelsmann, RTL Group will maintain its clearly defined strategy. One of the core elements of this strategy is to be conscious of its responsibility as a media company, and to ensure the editorial independence of its TV channels and radio stations.“
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