At least three candidates for the takeover of M6

PARIS (awp/afp) – At least three takeover proposals from the M6 ​​group have been submitted to the Bertelsmann group, according to information from Le Point on Saturday confirmed to AFP by concordant sources.

The proposals were submitted by a tandem formed by Xavier Niel (Iliad group) and MediaForEurope (the television group founded by Silvio Berlusconi), by the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, already present in several French media, and by FL Entertainment, the group side of audiovisual production and sports betting controlled by the Frenchman Stéphane Courbit, associated in particular for the occasion with Rodolphe Saadé, the boss of the giant of the maritime transport CMA-CGM.

According to Le Point, the three candidates have all submitted an offer of more than 19.2 euros per share, representing an investment of 1.1 billion euros to buy out the German giant’s stake in M6.

Contacted by AFP on Saturday, RTL Group declined to comment.

Through its subsidiary RTL Group, Bertelsmann holds some 48% of the capital of the M6 ​​group (the TV channels M6, W9, 6ter, Teva, Gulli and the radio stations RTL, RTL2, Fun Radio).

At the start of 2021, Bertelsmann, which wishes to withdraw from the French market, made the risky choice of merging M6 with its rival TF1.

But this marriage was suddenly canceled a week ago in the face of the reluctance of the French competition authority, which made its green light conditional on the sale of the TF1 or M6 channels to another actor, to avoid the creation of a juggernaut which would have, according to it, notably distorted the advertising market.

Following this cancellation, Bertelsmann launched a new “market test”. He had invited groups interested in taking over M6 to come forward before Friday afternoon.

The German group claims to be “in no hurry” to sell, and to be ready to keep its stake in M6 if the offers for the takeover seem insufficient.

But the decisions will have to be taken quickly, because due to French legislation on television channels, M6 will no longer be able to change shareholders for 5 years after the renewal of its broadcasting authorization, which expires in May 2023.


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