Media[netCOM] raises $38m through IPO

FRANKFURT: Trading in the shares of German video-on-demand operator media[netCOM] began today. Initial trades took place at Euros21, unchanged from the upper end of the book-building range at which they were sold to investors. The flotation raised $37.98m (Euros39.9m).

RTL Group confirms plans to list on London Stock Exchange

BRUSSELS: Following the clearance last Friday of the merger of CLT-Ufa, Audiofina and Pearson Television, the new company confirmed plans to list on the London Stock Exchange. The renamed RTL Group, will see its shares traded from July 26 and have an initial free float of 10%. It hopes to increase this to 15% in order to qualify for membership of the FT-SE 100 index.

Germany's VIVA gears up for IPO

FRANKFURT: Cologne-based music broadcaster VIVA is pushing ahead with its flotation on the Frankfurt Neuer Markt. The shares are being sold through the bookbuilding method at prices between Euros16-Euros23. The flotation is expected to raise up to Euros106m, and at Euros23 per share the group would be valued at Euros472m. Around half of the new cash is to be invested in building internet broadcasting and radio facilities and rolling out the TV service to Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Hungary. The company, which last year had turnover of $46m (DM95m), is forecasting annual growth of 20% for both profits and turnover until 2005. The flotation will reduce from 25% to approximately 18% the shareholding of Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music. Local music group Edel Music will have approximately 12%.

EC gives greenlight for Pearson, CLT-Ufa merger

BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Friday cleared the merger of CLT-Ufa and Pearson Television which was announced in April (Screendaily, April 7). The Commission ruled: "Although all the companies involved directly or indirectly have interests in the television sector, the deal will not significantly reduce competition''. The new group is expected to have annual turnover of some Euros4bn and be one of the largest in Europe. After the deal, CLT-Ufa's two owners, Bertelsmann of Germany and GBL of Luxembourg, will have stakes of 37% and 30% respectively, while the UK's Pearson will hold 22%. The remaining shares will float on the London Stock Exchange.

RTV Family Entertainment completes share sale

FRANKFURT: Producer, broadcaster and merchandising group RTV Family Entertainment has completed its capital raising share sale and doubled the number of shares in issue. The move will increase capital available for acquisitions and is expected to improve liquidity in the share market. The shares currently trade at Euros18.20 for a market capitalisation of Euros428m.