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M6 sale attracts main French media groups  

March 12, 2021

From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris

French broadcaster M6’s share price jumped by 7.55 per cent to €19.38 on the morning of March 12th after leading French media groups submitted offers to acquire the commercial TV and radio group, with majority shareholder RTL Group confirming sale talks.

Prospective buyers had until the evening of March 10th to declare their interest, according to reports, which suggest the process will be overseen by JP Morgan bank.

According to daily Les Echos, Vivendi (Canal+), TF1, Xavier Niel (Le Monde, Nice-Matin), Daniel Kretinsky (CMI France), representing most of the French media groups, are among the potential bidders to the purchase of a group that also comprises RTL radio station, kids and music channels Gulli and W9. Doubts remains about the participation of Altice and Italian group Mediaset.

RTL Group would expect to get back around €1.5 billion from the sale of its 48 per cent stake. This would value the broadcaster at some €3 billion.

“There is a real urgent need to consolidate,” declared Nicolas de Tavernost, Chairman of the Executive Board of M6 Group in February 2021. “Our analysis is that we need to be strong, be it on a worldwide level or on a local one. There are no national champions in France and if the French market doesn’t consolidate in the short term, it will be killed by platforms like Netflix or Amazon.”

de Tavernost also said he was fiercely opposed to a dismantling of the group and a sale of the assets one by one.

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