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Bertelsmann raises €1.4bn from RTL share offer

RTL Group’s owner Bertelsmann has raised €1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) through a secondary public offering of shares in the European broadcaster.

Following the secondary public offering of 25.5 million shares at €55.50, including a 2.3 million over-allotment, global media group Bertelsmann now holds 75.1% of RTL, which has producer/distributor FremantleMedia and a slew of channels across Europe in its portfolio.

Bertelsmann had previously suggested the entire stock sale could raise US$2.1 billion. It plans to use the raised cash in part to expand into digital platforms but chief financial officer Judith Hartmann was quick to confirm it would remain RTL’s leading shareholder and back it financially and strategically.

“The sale of RTL Group shares is one of Bertelsmann’s biggest capital market transactions ever. We are and will remain the majority shareholder in RTL Group – and will continue to support the strategic development of the business”.

RTL today joins the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Shares are also offered to investors in Luxembourg and Brussels.