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RTL Group to sell Belgian business for €250m

RTL Group to sell Belgian business for €250m

by Yannick LAMBERT 28.06.2021 From our online archive
RTL Group took full ownership of RTL Belgium in December 2020, only half a year ago
RTL offices in Kirchberg, Luxembourg
RTL offices in Kirchberg, Luxembourg
Photo credit: Anouk Antony

RTL Group is set to sell RTL Belgium to the Belgian media companies DPG Media and Groupe Rossel for €250 million, the company announced on Monday, after having acquired full ownership just six months ago.

The transaction is set to be closed by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval, the radio and television firm said in a press release.

While RTL Group had been the majority shareholder of RTL Belgium for 33 years, it took full ownership of RTL Belgium in December 2020, only half a year ago.

RTL Belgium includes the TV channels RTL-TVI, Club RTL and Plug RTL, the radio channels Bel RTL, Radio Contact and the digital radio channel Mint.

Last week, RTL Group proposed a merger of RTL Nederland with Talpa Network to face global competition such as Netflix and Disney. In neighbouring France as well, RTL wants to merge M6 with TF1 to create a French media champion as part of a new strategic orientation.

RTL Group still employs 600 people at its headquarters in Luxembourg's Kirchberg  business district, although many of its operations have been moved to Cologne.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said after 2023 his government was likely to pay RTL more than the €10 million a year it now spends for the broadcaster to air Luxembourgish-language programmes. The sides are negotiating a new seven-year contract that would run until 2030.

RTL's previous agreement with the government had remained a secret until Pirate Party lawmaker Sven Clement won a court cause forcing the government to make the contents available to lawmakers.

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