MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
January 3 – January 10, 2008 Edition
Bertelsmann Halts Plan
To Buy Remaining
Shares of RTL
Gütersloh/12/20/07–In a late-breaking statement during the holidays, Bertelsmann revealed it will not proceed with its previously-announced voluntary public offer for RTL shares. The company has halted the buyout at this time due to uncertainties in the so-called Luxembourg Takeover Law implemented on May 19th, 2006 by the European Parliament.
On December 4th, 2007, RTL Group S.A. (RTL Group) announced that Bertelsmann was considering making an offer to acquire the outstanding shares in RTL Group not already owned by Bertelsmann, subject to a number of conditions. Also on December 4th, 2007, Bertelsmann announced that no decision had been made to proceed with an offer and that there was no assurance that any offer would be made by Bertelsmann.
At the time, Bertelsmann had not completed its evaluation of the various options available to take RTL Group private. Bertelsmann has now established that there is currently insufficient certainty that the Luxembourg Takeover Law (including the squeeze-out right provided for in that law), would apply to its contemplated offer.
Since the legal basis for Bertelsmann to increase its shareholding in RTL Group to 100 percent appears uncertain, Bertelsmann has now decided not to proceed with the offer. However, the media conglomerate said it will continue to assess all available routes to acquire RTL Group and to take it private.
About Bertelsmann AG
Bertelsmann is an international media company encompassing television (RTL Group), book publishing (Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), music (BMG), media services (Arvato), and media clubs (Direct Group) in more than 60 countries. Bertelsmanns claim is to inspire people around the world with first-class media and communications offerings entertainment, information and services and occupy leading positions in its respective markets. The foundation of Bertelsmann’s success is a corporate culture based on partnership, entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and corporate responsibility. The company strives to bring creative new ideas to market and create value.
Bertelsmann is comprised of the television channels, television production companies, and radio stations of Europe’s largest entertainment group, RTL Group (RTL Television, M6, Five, Fremantle Media), and the more than 120 publishing houses of Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher (Alfred A. Knopf, Bantam, Goldmann). Gruner + Jahr is Europe’s number one magazine publisher (Stern, Geo, Neon, Capital). The Sony BMG joint venture in the BMG division is synonymous with creativity and strong international music brands (Beyoncé, Dixie Chicks, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera). The Arvato media and communications services division brings together distribution, service centers and customer-relationship management, state-of-the art printing manufacturing, storage media production, mobile services, and comprehensive IT services. Bertelsmann’s direct-to-customer businesses are unified within the Direct Group: book, DVD, and music clubs (Der Club, France Loisirs), as well as book retailers in France and Portugal.