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RTL sells Britain’s Five for EUR 125 million

Europe’s biggest commercial broadcaster, Luxembourg-based RTL on Friday announced it had sold British broadcaster Five to the Northern & Shell company owned by British publisher Richard Desmond.

The makers of the X-factor and the Got Talent TV show franchise disposed of its 100 percent shareholding in Five for EUR 125 million (GBP 103.5 million or USD 160 million) for cash "with immediate effect."

"With a significant recovery of the UK TV advertising market and Five performing well in the first half of 2010, we saw a window of opportunity to realise a transaction based on a fair evaluation of Five," said Gerhard Zeiler, chief executive officer of RTL Group in a statement.

RTL Group lists interests in 42 television channels and 31 radio stations in 10 countries, while its content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international producers outside the US.