RTL Group Bids to Acquire 100% of UK Channel Five

12 July 2005

Bertelsmann subsidiary, the pan-European broadcast giant RTL Group, is in negotiation with Britain's United Business Media to acquire the 35% stake in terrestrial channel Five it does not already own.

Five, until a year or two back, was known for its tacky 3S programming policy - sex, sport and sleaze. Today however, it is not only Five's image that is improved. Audience share too has risen, by 1.7% to 6.7% in 2004.

Bertelsmann has budgeted €1 billion ($1.19bn; £687.4m) for acquisitions in 2005 and said it expects the bulk of this investment to go to RTL. UBM's stake in the channel is valued at around £220m.

Meantime, none of the parties is prepared to comment on the negotiations.

Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff