Bertelsmann Eyes Majority Stake in RTL

05 February 2001

German media giant Bertelsmann is reportedly planning to increase its present holding to a majority stake in Europe-wide broadcaster RTL Group.

Bertelsmann already has a 37% holding in the company, but is expected to announce today that it will also acquire the 30% stake in RTL held by Belgium’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert.

In return, GBL will receive a salient interest in Bertelsmann. Since the German group is not publicly listed, it is as yet unclear what this interest may be.

Meanwhile, RTL has announced it is to merge its interactive TV operations with those of Bertelsmann, whose Broadband Group will be taken over by RTL New Media for 12.8 million euros. The RTL division will oversee content and interactive platforms, while a new Bertelsmann arm BeBroadband will look after e-commerce.

News source: Wall Street Journal