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Bertelsmann mulls partial RTL sale

Coin may pump growth in U.S., China, India and Brazil

BERLIN

German media giant Bertelsmann is considering a partial sale of its money-spinning pan-European broadcasting conglom, the RTL Group, to fund expansion.

RTL said Thursday that its parent was mulling a share sale through a capital market transaction but would maintain a majority of approximately 75%.

A final decision would depend on a number of conditions, including a favorable capital market environment, the company added.

“There can consequently be no assurance as to if, when or on what conditions Bertelsmann will offer part of its shareholding in RTL Group,” it said.

RTL is Bertelsmann’s main moneymaker. The group has 54 TV channels across 10 countries and it is one of the world’s leading producers of TV content, including talent and game shows, scripted drama, daily soaps and telenovelas such as “Idols,” “Got Talent,” “The X Factor,” “Family Feud” and “Good Times, Bad Times.”

In September, Bertelsmann chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe said the company wanted to grow its businesses in the U.S., China, India and Brazil.

Rabe pointed out that Bertelsmann was “growing too slowly. We want to accelerate the pace, advance the transformation to digital more aggressively, and devote more attention to the faster-growing regions.”

The partial sale of RTL shares may help speed things up.

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