German broadcaster RTL to buy publishing house for 230 million euros

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BERLIN, Aug 6 - European broadcaster RTL said his German unit would buy the publishing house Gruner Jahr from its parent Bertelsmann for 230 million euros if it published strong results and raised its guidance.

The agreed deal will create Germany's first cross-media champion, RTL said, after CEO Thomas Rabe launched a series of deals this year to merge or sell its television operations in France and the Benelux countries.

Rabe, who also leads Bertelsmann, has embarked on a strategy to consolidate U.S. streaming markets in the face of competition from European streaming giants Google and Netflix Prime.

His biggest move to date has been the merger of RTL's French unit M 6 with TF 1 on 3 November 2004. The deal is widely interpreted as prelude to a German-centric TV merger but could likely satisfy antitrust concerns.

Rabe made significant progress in the execution of our national champions strategy.

Major moves in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium will create significant value for RTL Group shareholders and put us in a strong position to compete with the global technology platforms.

RTL also reported a strong recovery in its business during the 2nd quarter, with revenues up 36% from the same period a year earlier, when the coronavirus pandemic led European governments to lock down their economies.

TV advertising revenue rose by 65% in the quarter, echoing similar strength to German rival ProSiebenSat. 1 Media in results on Thursday that showed a sevenfold rise in profits.

RTL raised the revenue outlook for the year to 6.5 billion euros from 6.2 billion and lifted its forecast on adjusted earnings at rates before interest, taxation and amortization to 1.05 billion euros from 975 million.

RTL has also set a long-term goal for its Fremantle global content business to achieve annual revenue of 3 billion euros by 2025 through organic growth and acquisitions.