TF1 and M6 have signed agreements to solidify a previously proposed merger. The move was confirmed by parent companies Groupe Bouygues and RTL Group, following votes in favor of the merger on behalf of employee representative bodies of Bouygues, TF1, and M6. “The merger between Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 is a great opportunity to create a French total video champion that will guarantee independence, quality of content, and pluralism – values that have long been shared by our two groups," Gilles Pélisson, Chairman & CEO of Groupe TF1, said. "Groupe TF1 now approaches a new stage in its development, consistent with the strategic vision developed in the past 5 years."
The completion of the transaction remains subject to the usual condition precedents, in particular the authorisations of the antitrust authorities Autorité de la Concurrence and media regulator Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) as well as the general meetings of TF1 and M6. Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 are active in a growing total video market where increasingly rich, original, and exclusive content is driving long-term audience growth. “The audiovisual market benefits from long-term growth. In this context, Groupe Bouygues is pleased to contribute to the creation of a major French media group able to compete with the GAFANs,” Olivier Roussat, CEO of Groupe Bouygues, said.
The companies initially introduced their merger plans in May, resulting in the creation of a major new French media group to ensure the long-term independence of French content creation and to continue to offer diversified and premium local content to the benefit of all viewers. The transaction is aimed to close by the end of 2022. “The consolidation of the French television and audiovisual markets is an absolute necessity if the French audience and the industry as a whole are to continue to play a predominant role in the face of exacerbated international competition, which is accelerating rapidly," Nicolas de Tavernost, CEO of Groupe M6, said. "The combination of the two groups' know-how will allow for an ambitious French response. Furthermore, this proposed merger of Groupe M6 and Groupe TF1 is the only transaction offering value creation for all Groupe M6 shareholders.”
The industrial project is intended to strengthen the supply of French quality content, continue to guarantee the independence, reliability, and quality of information, further develop a production hub for local and international content, accelerate the development of a French streaming champion combining a catch-up and live streaming offering and develop cutting-edge technology in streaming and in addressable TV advertising to meet the needs of viewers and customers.
The market continues to undergo a structural transformation, with a strong shift towards on-demand consumption. “The proposed merger of Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 would be a major step in implementing our strategy to create national media champions across our European footprint. It demonstrates how in-country consolidation creates significant value,” Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said. “As a strategic investor, we will be long-term industrial partners of Groupe Bouygues.”
The merger between Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 is a great opportunity to create a French total video champion that will guarantee independence, quality of content, and pluralism” Gilles Pélisson Chairman, CEO, Groupe TF1