M6 regains momentum on the stock market
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(News Bulletin 247) – Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann, told the Financial Times that he was “testing the market” to find out if his group decided to sell its 48% stake in M6, after the failure of the merger with TF1.

Only a few days after the abandonment of the marriage with TF1, M6 could be put back on the market. the FinancialTimes reported on Thursday that the German group Bertelsmann, owner of RTL Group, itself holder of 48.26% of M6, was “testing the market” by asking potential interested parties to submit non-binding offers for its stake in the sixth channel .

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“According to people familiar with the process, the stake in France’s second largest private television group is attracting a large number of potential buyers, including some of the most important billionaires in the media sector,” writes the British daily.

the FinancialTimes evokes the boss of CMA-CGM, Rodolphe Saadé, Vincent Bolloré, Stéphane Courbit, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, Xavier Niel, Daniel Kretinsky and Patrick Drahi (owner of BFMTV and BFM Business).

Many marks of interest

Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann and Managing Director of RTL Group, confirmed to the FinancialTimes that his group had asked potential candidates to submit non-binding offers. The manager explains that he was “inundated by expressions of interest” after the abandonment of the TF1-M6 marriage last week. “That’s why we are ‘testing the market’. We will decide based on this test whether we sell or not,” he continued, adding that M6’s profits last year were “at an all-time high”.

Contacted by News Bulletin 247, spokespersons for M6 and RTL Group did not comment further.

On the Paris Stock Exchange, the Métropole TV (M6) action regains momentum, taking 4.94% around 4:10 p.m., the largest increase in the SBF 120. “The action is regaining a bit of speculative appeal”, underlines an analyst.

TF1 for its part wins 1.18% (in a French market down 1.42%), an increase more difficult to justify. “The article of FinancialTimes underlines the interest and attraction of investors for television channels, which can create a ripple effect”, nevertheless tries the analyst quoted above.

Tight schedule

Timing is tight for Bertelsmann, however. M6 is due to see its broadcasting license renewed next May and will also have to submit a file with this in mind from the start of next year. After this deadline of May 2023, any new change of control will be impossible for five years. There are therefore only a few months left to find another buyer and validate the operation.

“The deadline is actually quite short and thus puts RTL Group in an uncomfortable position if it wishes to sell quickly. Especially since the macroeconomic environment has since changed”, explained Monday to News Bulletin 247 Christophe Cherblanc, head of equity research. – media sector at Societe Generale CIB.

Beyond this schedule, let us recall that French regulation via a 1986 law prohibits a shareholder from holding more than 49% of the capital or voting rights of a national DTT television channel whose average annual audience exceeds 8%.