28 July 2000

European broadcasting group RTL, created less than three months ago by the merger of the television assets of three media companies - Pearson of the UK, Belgium's Audiofina and Germany's Bertelsmann – debuted on the London Stock Exchange earlier this week with a market valuation of £18 billion ($27.1bn).

The issue price of shares was €190 - slightly higher than expected. By Wednesday's close, the shares had fallen back to €170, reducing the valuation to €25.77bn ($24.22bn; £16.15bn).

Already Europe’s largest free-to-air broadcaster, RTL owns twenty-two TV channels and 18 radio stations across eleven European countries. Its largest shareholder is Bertelsmann with 37% of the equity; Audiofina holds 30% and Pearson 22%.

The company is already targeting acquisitions in Spain, Italy, Poland and Hungary.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)