Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has raised his stake in TF1 to 5.05 per cent through his Luxembourg-based company Vesa Equity Investment, which has been owning a minority share since 2019.
Kretinsky envisages further investment, justifying his move by expressing confidence in the French economy and its outlook.
“TF1 is a company in which we believe owing to its solidity. We also believe in the TF1-M6 forthcoming merger which we strongly favour,” he told French business daily Les Echos.
Seen as a way of competing with the Gafas, particularly from an advertising point of view, the merger is considered by Kretinsky as a good option for viewers as well, since they will “benefit from a higher quality of programmes”.
He added that taking shares in TF1, whose activity is independent from the rest of his French media business, isn’t showing any “hostility to Bouygues Group”, TF1’s main shareholder. “We remain a minority and passive investor, asking for no particular right,” he confirmed.
Last spring, Daniel Kretinsky was one of the unsuccessful potential buyers of RTL Group’s M6, along with Mediaset.
Through his Czech Media Invest company, the Czech businessman owns a stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1. and has partnered with former BMF Business anchor Stéphane Soumier to launch a new business channel, B Smart.