Germany's Bertelsmann has decided not to proceed with a voluntary public offer for minority shares in the RTL Group not already held by the media concern or its affiliates.

In December 2001, Bertelsmann had purchased Pearson's 22% stake in the Group and investigated whether a voluntary public offer of Euros 44 per share could be made on the same terms and conditions. In the past three months, Bertelsmann bought a further 785,000 RTL Group shares at Euros 44 per share and consequently now - with its affiliates - holds approximately 90.2% of RTL Group's issued share capital.

In an official communique, Bertelsmann stated that it "intends to maintain, and reserves the right further to increase, this percentage shareholding in RTL Group, while continuing to observe the rights of minority shareholders in RTL Group".