French groups TF1 and M6 propose merger

The melding will create a French audio-visual media giant.


MUMBAI: Fierce competition forces alliances upon nations, people, and companies. As it is doing in the media and entertainment globally today. Close on the heels of the announcement of the merger between AT&T’s Warner Media and Discovery, reports of another fusion between two media groups in France have emerged. The two in question are TF1 and M6 (pronounced Seez) groups.

TF1 is owned by the Bouygues group, while M6’s ownership lies with European production and TV broadcaster RTL, which is part of media giant Bertlesmann. The two will be housed in a new French company in which Bouygues would hold 30 per cent and RTL 16 per cent. The former will acquire 11 per cent equity from the latter for Euros 641 million.

The proposal has got the go-ahead from the RTL, Bouygues, TFI, and M6 boards, but has to get over the regulatory hurdles from French authorities and is proposed to close by the end-2022. The merged company would have a 2020 pro forma revenue of €3.4bn and a current operating profit of €461M. The synergies potential (EBITDA run-rate impact) is estimated at €250M to €350M per year within three years from the closing of the transaction.

M6 CEO Nicolas de Tavernost has been proposed as chairman & CEO of the merged entity while chairman and CEO of TF1 Gilles Pélisson will be nominated as deputy CEO of Groupe Bouygues in charge of media and development.

A new ad-supported service, combining catch-up and live streaming and based on existing services MyTF1 and 6play, would be developed, alongside an SVoD service and a production hub for local and international content.

What’s forcing the two to merge? Well a press release issued by RTL gives some insights.

It says the two groups are active in a growing total video market where increasingly rich, original, and exclusive content is driving long-term audience growth. Even as linear TV remains powerful, it is undergoing a structural transformation with a strong shift towards on-demand consumption which is being led by global platforms making deep pushes in the French advertising market.

“The combination of these two players, of the know-how of their employees and their strong brands, would allow the new group to invest more and to step up innovation. The proposed merger is critical 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,” said the statement.

“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,” said Pélisson. “It will be an asset in promoting French culture. Groupe TF1 now approaches a new stage in its development, consistent with the strategic vision developed in the past five years.”

"The consolidation of the French television and audio-visual 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,” added de Tavernost. “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 audio-visual 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,” highlighted Groupe Bouygues CEO Olivier Roussat. “We are pleased with this major development and partnership which confirms Groupe Bouygues' commitment to the media since 1987. As shareholders with exclusive control over the new group, we will continue to provide it with our full support.”

RTL CEO Thomas Rabe said the proposed merger of Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 would be a major step in implementing the strategy to create national media champions across the European footprint. “It demonstrates how in-country consolidation creates significant value. As a strategic investor, we will be long-term industrial partners of Groupe Bouygues," he added.

Latest Reads

Disney+ Hotstar appoints Parita Razdan as head of growth strategy and Ops

Disney+ Hotstar has appointed Parita Razdan as head of growth strategy and Ops. She begins her new role in December. She was previously vice president, pricing and customer intelligence at Star TV Network for three years. Prior to joining Star India.

iWorld Over The Top Services
HBO Max India onboards Arjun Nohwar as country GM

Mumbai: WarnerMedia-owned streaming service platform HBO Max has brought Arjun Nohwar on board as country general manager (GM) for India.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Netflix announces six new mobile game titles launching in December

Mumbai: Netflix has announced six mobile game titles that will be launched on its platform in December. The streaming giant is yet to announce the official launch date of the games. The titles include "Ashphalt Xtreme," "Hextech Mayhem," "Knittens," "Wonderputt Forever," "Arcanium: Rise of Akhan,"...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Disney+ Hotstar bags 20 nominations at Filmfare OTT awards

Mumbai: Disney+ Hotstar has bagged 20 nominations across 12 categories at the Filmfare OTT awards this year. Four Hotstar Specials’ are in the race to win the award including "Grahan" which has received 10 nominations, followed by "Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors" with six, "OK Computer" with...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Chingari App announces strategic partnership with Snow Records

Short video app Chingari has entered into a partnership with Snow Records, an independent newly launched music label. As part of the collaboration, Chingari app will promote all new albums to be released by Snow Records.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Amazon ropes in Kelly Day to lead international streaming business

Amazon has appointed Kelly Day in a newly created role as vice president, Prime Video international. She will oversee streaming operations outside the US and report to Prime Video and Amazon Studios senior vice president Mike Hopkins.

iWorld eNews
LinkedIn says 'Namaste,' launches in Hindi

Professional network LinkedIn has marked a new milestone with the launch of Hindi, the first Indian regional language on the platform, with the goal to support 600 million Hindi language speakers globally. 

iWorld Over The Top Services
Bharti Airtel in talks to buy out Dish TV: Report

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel is on the lookout to buy a majority stake in direct-to-home (DTH) company Dish TV India Ltd, promoted by Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group. The telecom company is in the early stages of talks at present.

iWorld Telecom
NBCUniversal launches OTT platform hayu in India

NBCUniversal has launched its all-reality TV ad-free subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service in India called hayu. It has launched the direct-to-consumer (DTC) service on a full array of devices: mobile, tablet, laptop, connected TVs, and selected consoles.

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required