RTL and Canal Plus Units to Merge with Sports Marketing Firm

22 May 2001

French sports marketing company Jean-Claude Darmon Group is reportedly to merge with sporting rights firms Sport Plus (owned by pay-TV business Canal Plus) and Ufa Sport (controlled by pan-European broadcaster RTL Group). The deal is expected to be announced today.

The merged company – yet to be given a name – will boast annual revenues of up to E550 million and be valued at over E1 billion. It will also own TV and merchandising rights for over three hundred European soccer teams.

It is thought that RTL and Canal Plus will receive an equal share of around 40% in the merged business. According to insiders, the chief executive of the new company will be Jean-Claude Darmon, who owns 35% of his eponymous firm, with the heads of the two sports rights units becoming co-chief operating officers.

News source: Wall Street Journal