France's Mediawan Buys Lagardère Studios, Takes Stake in Germany's Leonine

Courtesy of Berlinale Series
Lagardère Studios owns Atlantique Productions, which teamed with Netflix on Paris-set series 'The Eddy'

The media conglomerate announced a raft of deals on Monday that will see it set up a new holding company and expand its European footprint.

French media conglomerate Mediawan is continuing its Europe buying spree, inking a €100 million ($112  million) deal to TV group Lagardère Studios, a co-producer of Netflix series The Eddy, and unveiling several new deals for media assets in France, Germany and Spain.

Mediawan founders Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse have set up a new holding group, Mediawan Alliance, together with financial backers MACSF of France and U.S. private equity group KKR, which will bundle pan-European media assets. KKR, which owns Leonine, will transfer a minority share in the Munich-based producer/distributor to Mediawan Alliance and Leonine boss Fred Kogel will join the company as Deputy CEO, alongside Chairman and CEO Capton.

Mediawan Alliance will launch a buyout offer for Mediawan shares not held by the founders or MACSF, offering €12.00 ($13.41) per share and €0.65 ($0.73) per warrant. The €12 euros price tag marks a premium of 42.3 percent on Mediawan's closing price on Friday, June 19. The Leonine deal is conditional on Mediawan Alliance acquiring at least 55 percent of Mediawan’s share capital and voting rights, including the shares of the company already held by Mediawan founders and MACSF. The Leonine deal still has to be approved by competition and regulatory authorities. After the deal, KKR will still retain majority control of Leonine.

Mediawan, which was set up as an investment vehicle to acquire European media and entertainment businesses, already controls the French TV division of Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and French production houses AB Groupe, Makever and Mon Voisin Productions.

Separately, Mediawan Alliance has begun exclusive negotiations to acquire Capton's production company Troisième Oeil and is eying Spanish TV group Good Mood. 

Leonine, formed by KKR through the acquisition and merger of licensing and distribution groups Tele München and Universum alongside production outfits  Wiedemann & Berg and i&u TV, will be Mediawan's first major media asset in Germany. With the deal, the group hopes to be able to foster French-German co-productions and cross-border cooperation between the division's independent production and distribution companies.

Mediawan was set up in late 2015 to bundle together European television production companies with a view to challenging the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime on the continent.