Bertelsmann expects to raise $2.1 bn from RTL share sale

German media conglomerate Bertelsmann expects to raise as much as €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) from the sale of a part stake in RTL, Europe's leading television broadcaster, in order to raise money for acquisitions.

Bertelsmann, which holds 92 per cent of RTL, had said last week end that it planned to reduce its stake in the broadcaster to around 75 per cent through a public stock offering and private sales to institutional investors (See: Bertelsmann to sell stake in RTL Group for around $1.93 bn).

Bertelsmann, which owns publisher Random House, set a price range of €54 to €62 per share for the secondary public offering of up to 23.2 million RTL shares, plus the optional sale of about 2.3 million depending on demand.

In addition to the existing listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Euronext Brussels, RTL Group intends to apply for a listing of its shares on the Regulated Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The first day of trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is expected before the summer break.

The shares are expected to float as soon as 30 April.

Luxembourg-based RTL is Europe's leading entertainment company with interests in 54 television and 29 radio stations in 10 European countries, including Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, had last month said that he planned to raise money for major acquisitions and expand in digital media and developing markets outside of Europe.

Since heading Bertelsmann last year, Rabe has made several acquisitions, including the purchase of music publisher BMG and the merger of Bertelsmann's Random House with Penguin.