Bertelsmann confirms RTL share sale

German media group Bertelsmann has confirmed previously-announced plans to cut its stake in television and broadcasting giant RTL by selling shares on the stock exchange.

“Bertelsmann confirms its intention to reduce its shareholding in RTL Group by way of a secondary public offering,” it said in a statement. Bertelsmann says the transaction would result in a significant increase of the free float in RTL Group shares, with Bertelsmann maintaining a qualified majority of at least 75 per cent.  The move could raise as much as €2 billion for future acquisitions.

Bertelsmann currently holds a stake of 92.3 per cent in RTL, with 7.7 per cent in free float. The shares would be offered “to private and institutional investors in Germany and Luxembourg through a public offering,” the statement said. Outside of these countries, it is intended to offer shares to institutional investors via private placements.

RTL Group intends to apply for listing of its shares on the Regulated Market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in addition to the existing listings on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Euronext Brussels. The first day of trading for the offered shares is expected before the summer break.

Bertelsmann says it remains convinced of the highly-attractive and positive long-term outlook for RTL Group’s free-to-air TV and radio broadcasting as well as TV production businesses.

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