- The EU Commission in Brussels has approved
Bertelsmann AG's acquisition of a controlling interest in Europe's
leading television and radio conglomerate, the RTL Group.
Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO Thomas Middelhoff today welcomed this as
a significant landmark in enhancing growth and success for his
"We now have the necessary majority to forge ahead with our
television business, and have considerably strengthened our position
as a content powerhouse," Middelhoff said. "RTL Group offers
exceptional content, popular brands, and access to millions of
viewers, listeners and Internet users across Europe. By assuming
clear leadership of Europe's largest and most successful broadcasting
company, Bertelsmann strengthens its position in tomorrow's
television market and provides RTL Group's management the opportunity
to exploit a wide range of synergies with our other corporate
As reported, Bertelsmann is acquiring - in addition to its
existing 37 percent share - an approximately 30 percent share in RTL
Group from Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL). In return, GBL will
receive a 25.1 percent interest in Bertelsmann AG, of which 0.1
percent are non-voting shares. Now that EU authorities have so
authorized, the stock swap will be carried out on July 2, 2001. GBL
has the option of selling its Bertelsmann shares on the stock market
starting in 2005.
RTL Group is listed on the London, Brussels and Luxembourg stock
exchanges. The group operates 24 TV stations and 17 radio stations in
10 countries, while RTL World makes it the market leader on the
Internet as well.
About Bertelsmann AG (www.bertelsmann.com
Bertelsmann commands leading positions in the global media and
entertainment industries. The Bertelsmann Group consists of
publishing and music companies, book and music clubs, magazines and
newspapers, television and radio stations, print and media service
providers, as well as multimedia and professional information
companies - including such brands as Random House, BMG (RCA, Arista,
Ariola), Gruner + Jahr (Stern, Geo, Capital) and RTL - with strong
appeal for readers, listeners, viewers and Internet surfers.
Bertelsmann is the world's largest general-interest book publisher
and the biggest English-language book- publishing house worldwide.
Its 41 million members make the Bertelsmann book and music clubs the
global No. 1, both internationally and in all regional markets. With
RTL Group, the company is the European market leader in broadcasting.
The Gruner + Jahr publishing house occupies a top position in the
European and US magazine business. Bertelsmann is also a leading
media company on the Internet and the world's No.2 in media
e-commerce. The group employs more than 81,000 people in 60 countries
and posted total revenues of 16.5 billion Euro in the 1999/00
business year ended June 30, 2000. In the first six months of the
current business year 2000/2001, revenues rose by nearly 40 percent
over the same period last year, to 10.4 billion Euro.
ots Originaltext: Bertelsmann AG
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Original-Content von: Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, übermittelt durch news aktuell