German publishing company Bertelsmann is preparing to sell part of its stake in broadcaster RTL Group and may take the first steps towards a placement on the public markets early next month, according to wire reports.
Reuters, citing two people familiar with the matter, has reported that Bertelsmann is planning to cut its 92.3% stake in RTL Group to 75% via a process described as a ‘re-IPO’. Bertelsmann could sell up to 17.3% of RTL Group worth an estimated €1.5 billion.
The sale will be made by a process similar to an IPO, involving a similar schedule of analyst research, pre-marketing andbookbuilding, but with the difference that RTL is already a listed company, according to the report.
RTL Group currently trades only 7% of its stock on the public markets, meaning that Bertelsmann sees a need to educate potential investors in order to secure a good price for the stake, according to Reuters.
Bertelsmann’s annual results will be announced on March 26, giving it an additional two months to complete the RTL sale if it intends to use its full-year earnings as the basis for a prospectus.
Bertelsmann is expected to use the proceeds of any transaction to fund acquisitions in its pursuit of a strategy to become a more truly international digital media company.