BERLIN — Efforts by German web RTL to acquire half of AOL Time Warner’s 50% stake in 24-hour news channel N-TV have come to naught.
After months of talks, RTL head Gerhard Zeiler said the companies failed to agree on a price.
AOL Time Warner reportedly asked for DM150 million ($70 million), a figure RTL found too steep considering N-TV’s recent 20% drop in sales and the lackluster state of the TV ad market.
Insiders said another big reason for the failure was RTL’s desire to acquire a majority stake in the channel.
N-TV shareholders Martin, Matthias and Michael Nixdorf are said to be interested in selling their 19% stake.
Publishing giant Holtzbrinck, also a N-TV shareholder (29%), is looking to increase its holding and reportedly was against RTL becoming the channel’s main backer.
RTL execs played down reports that the web was desperate to add a news channel to its broadcasting group to better compete with rival Kirch Group, which launched its own news web, N24, this year.