Three European money-shufflers – Reinhard Mohn of Germany and Belgian duo Albert Frere and Paul Desmarais – who between them control Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, holder of a 30% stake in Luxembourg-based broadcaster RTL, confirmed Friday a done deal with German media giant Bertelsmann.

This hands control of RTL, formed last year from the broadcasting interests of Bertelsmann, Audiofina and Pearson to Bertelsmann, which already holds 37% of the Luxembourg company.

RTL recently posted a 50% fall in pre-tax profits for 2000 to 293 million euros before tax, and also predicted a flat earnings performance for 2001 [WAMN: 21-Mar-01].

Assuming regulatory approval, the deal is expected to be finalized on July 2.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)