22 SEP 2022

French TV channel M6 is put up for sale after failed merger with TF1

German media group Bertelsmann has put its French television business M6 up for sale after the competition regulator blocked plans for a merger with TF1.

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German media group Bertelsmann has put its French television business M6 up for sale after the competition regulator blocked plans for a merger with TF1, the Financial Times reported. “We are testing the market for an M6 sale after being inundated with expressions of interest,”  Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann, told the British newspaper.

The list of entrepreneurs that are supposedly queuing up to bid for the French commercial channel include Stéphane Courbit of production giant Banijay, French media group Vivendi, production and sales outfit Mediawan, French maritime transport tycoon Rodolphe Saadé, and billionaire investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière. Another possibility is a fresh bid from the Silvio Berlusconi-backed conglomerate MediaForEurope or the telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, who last year both failed to acquire the company.

A couple of days ago, Bouygues, RTL Group, Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 decided to call off their plan to merge the TF1 and M6 groups that was announced last year. This decision came after the parties appeared at the hearings of the French Competition Authority’s board (Collège) on September 5 and 6 to argue in favour of the benefits and necessity of the deal.