Bertelsmann’s $3.95 billion deal with Belgium’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert to buy an extra stake in pan-European broadcaster RTL Group has pushed the unlisted media mammoth one step nearer a public flotation.

As predicted yesterday [WAMN: 05-Feb-01], Bertelsmann added GBL’s 30% interest in RTL to its existing 37%, giving the German-headquartered group an overall majority holding of 67%. In return, GBL has received a 25% stake in Bertelsmann.

GBL has agreed to keep the shares for at least three years, after which it may sell them to institutional investors, providing Bertelsmann with a market listing. However, 75% of the voting rights will remain in the hands of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

News source: The Times (London)