WATCH VIDEO. RTL Group has announced that it has signed an agreement for the sale of Five Group (“Five”) to the Northern & Shell company owned by British publisher Richard Desmond. The deal has been closed with immediate effect.
The total cash consideration payable to RTL Group for its 100% shareholding in Five will be €125 million (£103.5 million). JP Morgan has acted as exclusive financial advisor to RTL Group in the transaction.
Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Group, said in a statement: “With a significant recovery of the UK TV advertising market and Five performing well in the first half of 2010, we saw a window of opportunity to realise a transaction based on a fair evaluation of Five. The disposal is in line with RTL Group’s strategy of being number one or two in each of our markets. I would like to thank the whole team at Five and CEO & Chair Dawn Airey for their passion and professionalism, especially in the difficult past 20 months which saw a comprehensive restructuring of the company.”
In April 1996, a consortium owned by CLT-UFA, Pearson Television, Warburg Pincus and United Business Media (UBM) were granted a licence for the UK’s fifth terrestrial television station named Channel 5 by the Independent Television Commission. One year later, on March 30, 1997, Channel 5 went on air with an exclusive song – a reworking of the Manfred Mann hit 5-4-3-2-1 – performed by the Spice Girls, followed by This is Five! and the first episode of the soap opera Family Affairs.
Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell was formed in 1974 and publishes the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday, and the magazines OK!, New!, and Star. Northern & Shell subsidiary Portland broadcasts adult entertainment on 17 channels such as Television X, Red Hot TV and others.