BBTV Buys Out RTL Group, Launches IPO

BBTV Buys Out RTL Group, Launches IPO

Multichannel network BroadbandTV (BBTV) has bought out former majority owner RTL Group and launched an initial public offering it hopes will raise around $172 million C.A.D.


RTL, a Luxembourg-based entertainment conglomerate, acquired a controlling 51% share of Vancouver-based BBTV in 2013 for $36 million U.S.D. In 2017, it announced it would not seek to purchase the remainder of the business, and would instead explore “strategic alternatives” like a sale or IPO.


Following the reclamation of RTL’s stake, BBTV’s controlling shareholder is founder and CEO Shahrzad Rafati (pictured above). She now owns about 34%, and controls 83% of the total voting power. She has helmed the company since founding it in 2005.


BBTV—which provides content production, distribution, management, and monetization services to digital creators—began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange today, with an initial price per share of $16 Canadian. Rafati and other BBTV executives took approximately 10% of the business’s IPO shares; there are currently around 20.5 million shares outstanding, making the market cap around $300 million (Canadian dollars), BBTV tells Tubefilter.


“In a world where new platforms continuously emerge and supply and demand for video are rising, content owners need a comprehensive solution to help them navigate the complex and expansive digital video landscape,” Rafati said in a statement. “That’s exactly what we solve for.”


In a statement, BBTV said it intends to use money raised by the IPO to “fund business operations, offering expenses, strategic acquisitions, and growth initiatives.”


As of June 2020, BBTV attracts nearly 600 million unique viewers per month, it says. Collectively, they watch more than 50 billion minutes of video content monthly.