Banijay Chairman Stéphane Courbit Makes Offer to Buy M6 - Deadline

Banijay Chairman Stéphane Courbit Makes Offer to Buy M6 – Deadline

A consortium led by Banijay chairman Stéphane Courbit is reportedly leading the race to acquire French broadcaster M6, with shares in the Bertelsmann-owned network soaring on news of several planned deals.

Bloomberg News quoted an unnamed source as saying Courbit and his partners, who include shipping magnate Rodolphe Saade and businessman Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere, offered €20 cash ($20) per share for owner Bertelsmann’s stake in the channel, which was set to merge with French rival TF1 Group until the deal collapsed under the weight of regulatory scrutiny last week.

This would value the 48% stake at around €1.22 billion. M6’s share price has risen from around €13.35 on Friday to more than €15 this morning in Europe, so Courbit’s offer represents a significant premium.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s MFE-MadeForEurope has reportedly teamed up with French telecommunications billionaire Xavier Niel, who co-founded Mediawan, to bid for M6, while another bid by Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky is also said to be launching a offer. Vivendi is not expected to follow through with an offer.

The collapse of the TF1-M6 merger last week prompted Bertelsmann to immediately put the M6 ​​up for sale with no commitment, sparking a round of interest over the weekend. Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe told the financial times was ‘testing the market’ after being “inundated with expressions of interest”.

Courbit’s interest arose in the same story.

The collapse of the merger was detrimental to RTL, Fremantle and TF1 owner Bouygues, who were seeking more firepower to fend off the growing influence of streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video in France. However, several rivals had raised concerns that the merged entity was a hugely dominant player in the French advertising market.

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Earlier this year, Courbit took Survivor Y Great Brother Banijay owner public through an agreement with an investment group SPAC. Banijay is now part of FL Entertainment, a portfolio group that also includes online sports betting firm Betclic. M6 would likely join this group if Courbit’s consortium were successful.

Representatives for Courbit had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

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