Bertelsmann confirms RTL stake sale

German publishing company Bertelsmann has confirmed that it plans to reduce its holding in broadcaster RTL Group, but maintain a majority stake of “at least 75%”.

Following reports last month, Bertelsmann confirmed that it would complete the move by way of a “secondary public offering,” resulting in a significant increase in RTL Group shares.

RTL owns a spate of leading broadcast networks in Europe and also houses X Factor and American Idol coproducer FremantleMedia.

Shares are due to be offered to private and institutional investors in Germany and Luxembourg through a public offering. Outside of these countries, shares will be offered to institutional investors through private placements, Bertelsmann said.

The firm added that RTL Group also intends to apply for a shares listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, with shares expected to start trading before the summer break. RTL Group is already listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Euronext Brussels.

Bertelsmann currently holds a 92.3% stake in Bertelsmann and is tipped to raise up to €1.5 billion through the stake sale. Bertelsmann is expected to use the cash to expand into other areas.

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