Elmar Heggen, COO and Deputy CEO of RTL Group
RTL Group announces the sale of RTL Belgium to the Belgian media companies DPG Media and Groupe Rossel for €250 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q4/2021.
RTL Group’s shareholders will benefit from the cash proceeds in line with the stated dividend policy. RTL Group was the majority shareholder of RTL Belgium for 33 years, before taking full ownership of RTL Belgium in December 2020.
Elmar Heggen, COO and Deputy CEO of RTL Group, says: “DPG Media and Groupe Rossel are strong cross-media companies that are well equipped to accelerate RTL Belgium’s digital transformation. The sale is in line with our strategy and the best strategic option for RTL Belgium, its dedicated employees and our shareholders. We would like to thank the management and the team of RTL Belgium for their performance, passion and commitment. Today, RTL Belgium stands for audience proximity, independent information, pluralism of opinion and high-quality entertainment. We are looking forward to the continued cooperation with RTL Belgium, for example with our technical service provider BCE in Luxembourg and the streaming technology company Bedrock.”
RTL Belgium’s three free TV channels – RTL-TVI (family, general interest), Club RTL (children, sports, classic movies and series) and Plug RTL (fiction, young culture, reality TV) – form the leading family of TV channels in French-speaking Belgium. RTL Belgium’s radio stations comprise Bel RTL (talk, general interest), Radio Contact (music) and the digital station Mint (pop rock music). The business unit also operates the streaming service RTL Play and the news website RTLInfo.be.
The sale marks part of RTL Group’s plan to consolidate its interests, including the merger of its French network M6 with TF1. The company also unveiled a deal last week with John de Mol’s Talpa Network that will create a unified cross-media group join the Netherlands.
Bertelsmann-owned RTL, which in turn is the parent company of Fremantle, has previously said that it has an ongoing strategy to create “local-language champions” across the continent.