RTL to exit Belgium


RTL Group announced the sale of its Belgian broadcasting business on 28 June 2021. Handout photo: RTL TVI playout facility in Kirchberg. Photo credit: BCE 

RTL Group said it will sell its RTL Belgium subsidiary to DPG Media and Groupe Rossel, two Belgian media outfits, for €250m.

The Kirchberg- and Cologne-based broadcasting group has been scaling back direct ownership of media outlets in several countries over the past few months.

RTL Group put its Belgian business up for sale earlier this year, after buying out minority investors in December 2020. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and it expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, the company said on Monday.

RTL Belgium serves the French-speaking part of the country with three TV channels, two radio stations, a streaming radio station and TV service, news site and advertising sales agency.

Rossel is best known as the publisher of Le Soir and the Sudpresse regional newspaper group, and has stakes in De Tijd and L’Echo, two Belgian broadsheets.

DPG Media owns several broadcasters, newspapers and magazines in Belgium (it owns the other bit of De Tijd and L’Echo), the Netherlands and Denmark.

Last week RTL Group said it would merge its business in the Netherlands with Talpa Network, the company behind The Voice, among others. In May, the company said it would merge M6, its French broadcasting unit, with TF1, that country’s largest commercial broadcaster.

RTL Group is controlled by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.