RTL Group To Keep Control Of French Network M6 – Deadline


French broadcaster M6 is no longer for sale.

In the past few minutes, owner RTL Group, which itself is owned by Bertelsmann, has decided against selling its controlling 48.3% stake in the company following the breakdown of M6’s merger with TF1 due to competition concerns.

A number had been interested after RTL put M6 on the sales block including a consortium led by Banijay Chairman Stéphane Courbit, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s MFE-MadeForEurope and French telecommunications billionaire Xavier Niel, and Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky.

Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said the decision was taken following a review of strategic options after he received several attractive offers. RTL has owned the network for 35 years.

“Groupe M6 is one of the best-run TV companies in Europe with an excellent management team, led by its CEO Nicolas de Tavernost,” he added. “In 2021, Groupe M6 achieved record operating results. We will continue to pursue our strategy to build national media groups of sufficient size to compete with the U.S. platforms.”

The collapse of the TF1-M6 merger led Bertelsmann to immediately put M6 up for sale on a non-binding basis, at which point Rabe told the Financial Times he was ‘testing the market’ after being “inundated with expressions of interest.”

The long-awaited merger collapsed following an intervention by France’s Competition Authority, which raised serious concerns mainly over the impact on the local advertising market.


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