Pierre-Antoine Capton, CEO of Mediawan, poses throughout a ceremony for the debuts of Mediawan, an organization set as much as purchase European media and leisure companies, on Euronext Paris inventory market at La Defense enterprise and monetary district in Courbevoie close to Paris, France,… REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

By Matthieu Protard and Sophie Sassard | PARIS

PARIS Mediawan (MDWP_p.PA), arrange by a few of France’s largest media traders to problem giants like Netflix, is about to change into the nation’s second largest pay TV participant via a proposed buy of French TV and content material specialist Groupe AB.

Mediawan has supplied 270 million euros ($289 million) to purchase the French broadcasting group, it stated on Monday

French TV group TF1 (TFFP.PA) would promote its 33.5 % stake in Groupe AB to Mediawan as a part of the deal.

Mediawan, an acquisition automobile, was listed on the Paris inventory market final 12 months. The firm was arrange by Pierre-Antoine Capton, founding father of French media producer 3e Oeil Productions, and Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse, co-owners of Le Monde newspaper and L’Obs journal. Niel additionally controls and based telecom group Iliad (ILD.PA). Pigasse leads the worldwide M&A enterprise of funding financial institution Lazard (LAZ.N).

“Our plan is a simple one. It’s to use Groupe AB, which will be renamed Mediawan, to create the leading European company in terms of content, and in terms of different areas such as production, catalogs and distribution,” Pigasse informed Reuters.

The deal would make Mediawan the second largest in pay TV in France with close to 10 % of viewers share in 2015/2016, behind Vivendi’s Canal + which leads the pack with 36.7 %, in keeping with French viewers measurement company Mediametrie.

Groupe AB owns generalist TV channels RTL9, AB1, AB3 in addition to thematic channels together with Science et Vie TV, Toute l’Histoire, AB Moteur, Golf Channel and Chasse et Peche that are distributed by telecom teams, together with Orange (ORAN.PA), SFR (SFRGR.PA), Bouygues Telecom (BOUY.PA), as a part of their so-called quad-play packages.

Thematic channels are sometimes large promoting factors for distributors.

Groupe AB additionally has a profitable TV rights enterprise as a part of its quad-play package deal that solely distributes widespread sequence like Friends in Europe in addition to Paramount movies in France and Belgium.


“Distributors around the world are turning their attention to quality content assets, viewing content ownership as the ultimate hedge against an evolution in content distribution to which they are structurally exposed.”, stated Groupe AB’s monetary adviser on the deal Arnaud Dassy, a accomplice at Perella Weinberg.

Perella Weinburg suggested AT&T (T.N) on its deliberate $85 billion Time Warner (TWX.N) acquisition introduced final 12 months, which might give the telecom firm management of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, movie studio Warner Bros and different media property.

Dassy stated such offers would assist media teams acquire entry to client knowledge held by telecom firms and use it to enhance their content material and earn more cash from promoting.

Pigasse stated Mediawan was in talks with different European media firms over potential offers, and that they hoped to recreate a “Big Bang” within the media sector much like the wave of offers in London after the “Big Bang” deregulation of monetary providers of the late 1980s.

“We are already in talks with other European companies based outside France, at least five of them. We’re looking to launch the start of a major ‘Big Bang’ in the sector,” Pigasse stated.

(This model of the story was refiled so as to add dropped letter in Groupe AB in headline)

(Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)

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