RTL Group and Canal + finalize sale of Sportfive
Luxembourg, 25 June 2004 – RTL Group and Canal+ Group, a Vivendi Universal subsidiary, today announce the completion of the sale of their interests in Sportfive. Each of RTL Group and Canal+ has received a consideration of EUR 274 million in cash for its respective 48.85 per cent shareholding.
Under the terms of the transaction, funds managed by Advent International, a leading global private equity fund, and RTL Group have formed a new company that purchased all of the shares in Sportfive held by RTL Group and Canal+ Group. RTL Group holds 25 per cent of the new company; the remainder is held by Advent International, Goldman Sachs and the management, with Advent International holding a majority stake.
Jean-Claude Darmon, Chairman and CEO of Sportfive, has decided to leave the company. He will remain as Chairman of the Board of Sportfive SA until 15 July 2004. Philip Cordes, currently Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed as Group Chief Executive Officer and Alain Krzentowski as General Manager of Sportfive S.A.. The other members of the Executive management are: Erika Tertilt, Robert Müller von Vultejus and Thomas Röttgermann.
Sportfive is a major force in international sports rights and the number one in worldwide soccer television rights.
BNP Paribas acted as sole advisor to RTL Group on this transaction.
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SPORTFIVE, Europe’s leading sports marketing group, was founded in 2001 and is listed on the Paris stock exchange. It covers the whole range of sports rights marketing, from stadium advertising and hospitality programmes to shirt sponsorships, stadium consulting and the sale of international TV rights. On the whole, the group markets the rights of more than 250 individual clubs, 11 leagues and 40 national football associations worldwide. In Germany, SPORTFIVE is responsible for the marketing of professional football clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Hertha BSC Berlin and Hamburger SV, in France for Paris St. Germain. In addition to the core business football, SPORTFIVE markets the image rights of the two heavyweight boxers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko and manages the worldwide TV- and marketing rights of the International Handball Federation and the worldwide TV rights of the Rugby Six Nations Tournament.
About RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's leading commercial broadcaster, with interests in 26 television channels and 24 radio stations in nine countries and content production throughout the world. Its television portfolio includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, five in the UK and the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, as well as Antena 3 in Spain. RTL Group has also interests in other radio stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. RTL Group's content production arm, FremantleMedia is one of the largest international producers outside the US. It is currently producing more than 260 programmes in over 39 countries including the USA, providing a wide range of drama, entertainment and factual programming for viewers around the world.