RTL Group acquires the remaining 35.4 per cent shareholding in the UK television station Five

Luxembourg, 20 July 2005 - RTL Group, Europe’s leading broadcaster and content provider, today announces that it has agreed with United Business Media to acquire the outstanding 35.4 per cent shareholding in the UK television station Five for GBP 247.6 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalised in the Autumn.

Today’s announcement takes the shareholding of RTL Group to 100 per cent from an initial holding, as one of the founding shareholders in 1997, of 29 per cent.  This was subsequently increased to 35.4 per cent and, later in 2000, as part of the merger between Pearson Television and CLT-UFA, the overall stake increased to 64.6 per cent. 

Five has steadily grown audience and advertising market share since launch reaching 6.7 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively in 2004.  In 2003 Five made an operating profit for the first time and in 2004, under IFRS, reported revenue of GBP 290 million and an operating profit of GBP 19 million.

Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Group, comments: “I am delighted that we have been able to increase our shareholding to 100 per cent in Five.  This transaction demonstrates our commitment to our activities in the UK and is in line with our stated strategic objectives.  Five is a key shareholding for us and we look forward to continuing to work with the management team to develop the business”.

RTL Group was advised by J.P. Morgan Plc on this transaction.

For further information:

Andrew Buckhurst
Senior Vice President
External Communications and Investor Relations
RTL Group
Phone: 00352/2486 5075 or 5130
Julius Duncan
Phone: 00 44 /(0) 207 251 3801

About RTL Group

RTL Group is Europe's leading commercial broadcaster, with interests in 31 television channels and 33 radio stations in ten 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 and TVI in Portugal. RTL Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal 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 40 countries including the USA, providing a wide range of drama, entertainment and factual programming for viewers around the world.

About Five

Launched in 1997, Five is the UK's fastest growing commercial terrestrial station. The key to five's success is its investment in programming. Five has developed a reputation for being a broad appeal channel with particular strengths in programming areas such as childrens, factual entertainment, news, arts and features. It also offers the best in US programming with series such as the CSI and Law&Order franchises.