Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The M6 group sets in motion the redemption of RTL France – Le Figaro

INFO LE FIGARO – The M6 group will spend € 216 million to buy the group of radio RTL France. The new set will weigh 1.4 billion euros of turnover and will have an advertising agency unique.

The two cousins, the television group M6 (M6, W9, 6Ter, Paris Première) and radio group RTL (RTL, Fun, RTL2), have decided to no longer constitute a single media package. In practical terms, the M6 is going to get RTL France for € 216 million, financed by debt. Both are subsidiaries of the luxembourg RTL Group, itself owned by German Bertelsmann. Currently, the RTL Group controls 100 % of the share capital of RTL France and 48,26 % of the M6 group, with the remainder being listed on the stock Exchange. If the transaction is approved by the luxembourg authorities and by the CSA in France , RTL Group will hold then 48,26 % of the new set.

This operation is desired since very long years by Nicolas de Tavernost, chairman of the management board of the M6 group. It sounds today, because it is inscribed in the movement of concentration between media and telecoms, across the sector. “It is obvious to our common shareholder that there would be a conjunction of forces at a time. Elsewhere in Europe the subsidiaries of RTL group together the television and the radio. Rather, it is the separation in France was an exception,” says Nicolas de Tavernost. “We have the ability to constitute a genuine multimedia group. It is already the case for our competitors such as NRJ, present in radio and tv, or NextRadioTV and the operator Altice”, says Christopher Baldelli, the chairman of the management board of RTL France. The new set will bring together the first group of private radios in France and the second group of private free-tv. The whole thing should weigh about 1.41 billion euros of turnover (1.24 bill ion for M6 and $ 168 million for RTL France) with an Ebitda of approximately € 225 million ($ 200 million to M6, and 24 million for RTL).

“today, M6 and RTL are in full form and this reconciliation is a movement that is offensive and not defensive. We intend to continue to develop. However, in France, on account of the rules anti-concentration, M6 was not able to redeem radio stations, outdoor and RTL could not buy from the tv channels. This operation will allow to set up synergies and does not negate in any way our capacity for external growth in the audiovisual production, the digital, the process of diversification and television,” explains Nicolas de Tavernost.

The new group will develop synergies in the form of a advertising unique, but also combining forces in the digital, especially at the level of information sites. “In contrast, the two business segments of the radio and television will retain their brands and their editorial lines own,” says Christopher Baldelli. Thanks to the synergies, the new group hopes to raise the operating result of the radio activity of € 24 million currently to about 40 million euros to the horizon 2020.

At the level of governance, Nicolas de Tavernost will retain his position of chairman of the management board of the M6 group, Christopher Baldelli will become vice-president of the management board in charge of the radio and of the information and Valentin will remain vice-chairman of the management board in charge of tv and purchase content.

This chart assumes nothing of the estate of Nicolas de Tavernost. “The estate is not open, there is an appointment in march 2018, but nothing is decided,” explains Nicolas de Tavernost. “This project has nothing to do with personal ambition. It is a question industrial. This is a great opportunity for the two groups, and its success will be the matter of a proper execution,” says Christopher Baldelli.


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