German publishing group Bertelsmann has confirmed its intention to reduce its shareholding in RTL Group by way of a secondary public offering.
In a statement, RTL Group said it intends to apply for listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
The board of directors of RTL Group has been informed that Bertelsmann intends to continue with the preparations for the reduction of its shareholding in RTL Group through a secondary public offering of ordinary shares, while maintaining a qualified majority of at least 75%.
RTL Group intends to apply for listing of its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in addition to the existing listings on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Euronext Brussels.
The first day of trading for the offered shares is expected before the summer break. The reduction of Bertelsmann’s shareholding is envisaged to significantly increase the free float of RTL Group shares.
RTL Group shares are expected to be offered to private and institutional investors in Germany and Luxembourg through a public offering. Outside of these countries, it is intended to offer shares to institutional investors via private placements.
Bertelsmann is the majority shareholder of RTL Group, currently holding 92.3% of the voting rights. Bertelsmann would maintain a qualified majority shareholding of at least 75% in RTL Group as Bertelsmann “remains convinced of the highly attractive and positive long-term outlook for RTL Group’s free-to-air TV and radio broadcasting as well as TV production businesses.”
The shares would be offered by Bertelsmann. RTL Group will not raise new capital in connection with the public offering and will not receive any of the proceeds from it.
Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the public offering. BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are acting as joint bookrunners. BNP Paribas and Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking are acting as co-lead managers. Lazard is acting as financial advisor on the transaction.
“We are pleased to announce RTL Group’s intention to gain admission to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, given our leading position in Germany,” said Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEOs of RTL Group, in a joint statement. “Over the past years, our high levels of profit and cash flows have repeatedly demonstrated that RTL Group is a very attractive business, generating value for our shareholders.”