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French broadcaster Groupe M6 is no longer up for sale.
RTL Group has decided to keep its near-controlling stake in the French commercial channel after fielding offers for M6 following a planned merger between the French channel and competitor TF1 falling apart amid antitrust concerns.
RTL Group said it received “several financially attractive offers” for its 48.3 per cent shareholding in Groupe M6. But after testing the market, Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL parent Bertelsmann, said M6 was no longer on the auction block due to concerns over regulatory hurdles.
M6 is the third most-watched TV channel in France and the country’s most profitable private network.
“Groupe M6 is one of the best-run TV companies in Europe with an excellent management team, led by its CEO Nicolas de Tavernost. In 2021, Groupe M6 achieved record operating results. We will continue to pursue our strategy to build national media groups of sufficient size to compete with the US platforms,” Rabe said in a statement.
On Sept. 16, Groupe Bouygues, RTL Group, Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 decided to call off their plan to merge Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6. After that decision, RTL Group says it began to receive offers for its stake in Groupe M6.
Potential M6 buyers include Stéphane Courbit of production giant Banijay, French media group Vivendi, fast-growing production and sales outfit Mediawan, French maritime transport tycoon Rodolphe Saadé and billionaire investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.
However, RTL Group said it faced risks and uncertainties about a possible Groupe M6 stake sale due to required approvals from antitrust and media authorities. RTL Group will also not reduce its 48.3 per cent stake in Groupe M6.
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