Bertelsmann to sell stake in RTL Group for around $1.93 bn

Bertelsmann SE today said that it will sell around 17 per cent stake in broadcaster RTL Group for around €1.5 billion ($1.93 billion), as Europe's largest media company raises money for acquisitions.

Bertelsmann, which holds 92 per cent of RTL, will reduce its stake in the broadcaster to around 75 per cent through a public stock offering and private sales to institutional investors.

''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,'' Bertelsmann said in a statement.

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.

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.