Germany's largest private TV channel RTL is to become the fourth shareholder of the country's largest public fund Filmstiftung NRW.

At a session of the fund's supervisory board, it was decided to give RTL a seat each in the film funding committee, the supervisory board and the shareholders' assembly.

RTL's decision to join the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, and broadcasters WDR and ZDf as a shareholder has to be approved by RTL's advisory board and the Filmstiftung's shareholders' assembly

"We are pleased that RTL is now to become a fellow shareholder in the Filmstiftung NRW", declared the fund's executive director Michael Schmid-Ospach. 'The largest private station in Germany, especially as it is based in North Rhine-Westphalia, should also be involved in the largest public funder - we both have something from this".

Filmstiftung NRW was founded in 1991 by the Land and WDR, with national public broadcaster ZDF joining six years ago in 1997.