RTL Group acquires Holtzbrinck’s TV and radio interest in Germany
Luxembourg, 13 August 2002 – RTL Group, Europe’s leading broadcaster and content provider, has entered into a Euro 170 million agreement to acquire the TV and radio assets of the German publishing group Georg von Holtzbrinck. Under the terms of the agreement, RTL Group acquires Holtzbrinck’s 47.3 per cent stake in the leading German commercial news channel n-tv as well as the group’s activities in 12 German radio stations. The acquisition is subject to approval by the cartel and regulatory authorities as well as to the agreement of co-shareholders to waive their pre-emption right.
With the acquisition of a stake in n-tv, RTL Group strengthens its activities in the news sector and takes another step to reinforce its position as the leading German TV family. RTL Television and its CEO Gerhard Zeiler will be in charge of the stake; RTL Television’s Information Director Hans Mahr will be responsible for the operational cooperation with n-tv. n-tv, based in Berlin, posted revenues of Euro 72 million in 2001 and currently has a market share of 0.7 per cent of the total television audience.
RTL Group also strengthens its position as Germany’s largest radio player – in terms of revenues – through the acquisition of Holtzbrinck’s radio holding AVE. AVE has participations in 12 radio stations which are located in several German states where RTL Group does not have significant radio operations. As a result, the acquisition allows RTL Group to expand its German radio coverage to all states except Hessen and Schleswig-Holstein. RTL Group’s German radio assets are managed in Berlin by Jürgen Filla, CEO of RTL Radio Deutschland. The existing German radio portfolio of RTL Group includes 8 stations and participations based in Berlin, Luxembourg, Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Bayern as well as a newly licensed station in Baden-Württemberg.
Didier Bellens, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RTL Group, commented: “Our strategy is to develop our TV, radio and content portfolio in the main European markets. The acquisition of Holtzbrinck’s German TV and radio assets is a perfect translation of this strategy. The stake in n-tv, the uncontested leader in German news television, enhances our position in our most important market, Germany. In radio these complementary assets offer a neat geographical fit and increase our Europe-wide exchange of know-how and expertise.”
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