RTL sells Croatian operation to PPF Group in $57m deal

Fremantle owner RTL Group has struck a deal to sell its Croatian operation to Czech investment group PPF.

The deal, which is being carried out via PPF’s subsidiary Central European Media Enterprises (CME), values RTL Croatia at €50m ($57m). CME will acquire 100% of the broadcaster, and has secured the long-term rights to retain the use of the RTL brand in Croatia.

RTL Group said that it will benefit from royalties as a part of the long-term agreement, while shareholders will benefit from the cash proceeds in line with its stated dividend policy.

RTL Croatia operates three free-to-air TV channels – RTL Televizija, RTL 2 and RTL Kockica – along with pay TV channels RTL Living, RTL Passion, RTL Crime and RTL Adria as well as RTL Croatia World. The company also operates streaming services Play and Play Premium and music label RTL Music.

Elmar Heggen

For CME, the deal complements its existing portfolio which includes Central European SVOD platform VOYO and a number of leading television stations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval from the Croatian Competition Authority and the Croatian Agency for Electronic Media. CME said that it expects to close the deal in mid-2022.

Elmar Heggen, COO and deputy CEO of RTL Group said: “With its clear regional focus on Central and Eastern Europe and its commitment to editorial independence and integrity, CME is well equipped to further develop RTL Croatia. The sale is in line with our consolidation strategy and the best strategic option for RTL Croatia, its dedicated team and our shareholders.”

Didier Stoessel, CME CEO for Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, said: “As a PPF company, we are always open to interesting ideas for growth and investment and see that the Adriatic is a growing region with exceptional potential.

“We have a very successful operation with ProPlus in the region and I believe that these two Adriatic countries can work well in parallel. As in our other countries,we will focus on digitalization and local content creation, while continuing to excel in pluralistic and high-quality journalism.”

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