23 September 2008, Luxembourg/Athens
RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Dimitris Contominas, the current owner of Alpha Media Group, to acquire a 66.6 per cent majority shareholding in the Greek broadcasting company for EUR 125.7 million. Under the terms of the deal, RTL Group will occupy five of the nine seats on the Alpha Media Group Board of Directors and will have the right to nominate the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the company, while Mr Contominas will nominate the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The transaction is subject to approval by the Greek Competition Commission and is expected to close in October or November.
Gerhard Zeiler, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, comments: “The acquisition of Alpha Media Group provides a unique opportunity to create value - for viewers and advertisers in Greece as well as for our company. Alpha Media Group has a solid market position already, and as the leading European entertainment network we will contribute our expertise and experience to building a strong broadcasting company in an attractive market in close co-operation with our local co-shareholder Dimitris Contominas.”
Dimitris Contominas, who will become the Chairman of the Alpha Media Group Board of Directors, says: “I’m delighted to announce this strategic alliance with the most successful pan-European broadcasting company. This partnership is an important moment to lead Alpha Media Group into the next phase of its development. Together, based on RTL Group’s international TV proficiency and our knowledge of the local market, we will develop a solid, step-by-step business plan.”
With the closing of the deal, RTL Group will enter the promising Greek TV market. The country’s net TV advertising market grew from approximately EUR 300 million in 2001 to more than EUR 500 million in 2007 and is projected to deliver annual growth of 6 to 7 per cent in the medium-term future. Alpha Media Group is the number three broadcasting company in Greece and comprises the national TV channel Alpha TV, the regional TV channel Cosmos TV (Thessaloniki), the radio stations Alpha 98.9 and Palmos 98.8 and Plus Productions, Alpha TV’s in-house production company. Alpha Media Group currently generates annual revenue of approximately EUR 100 million.
In the first half of 2008, Alpha TV improved its total audience share to 14.5 per cent from 13.6 per cent in 2007 and currently ranks third in the Greek market. In the commercial target group of 15- to 44-year-old viewers, the channel also increased its audience share, to 12.7 per cent (2007: 11.5 per cent), and has become the number two in prime time. With a TV advertising market share of 16.5 per cent (January to June 2008) Alpha TV currently ranks third among Greek broadcasting companies.
About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 44 television channels and 32 radio stations in ten countries and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, Five in the UK, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, Ren TV in Russia and Antena 3 in Spain. RTL Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group's content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international producers outside the US. Each year, it produces more than 10,000 hours of programming across 55 countries.