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France’s TF1, M6 merger signed

The proposed merger between French businesses TF1 Group and M6 Group is one step closer after it was approved by the companies’ employee representative bodies.

M6 Group CEO Nicolas de Tavernost

Europe’s RTL Group, owner of M6 Group, and its rival TF1 Group announced plans to create a new French media giant in May.

RTL Group owner Bertelsmann and TF1 owner Bouygues Group entered into exclusive negotiations and the agreement has now been signed after the respective employee representative bodies approved the proposed merger last month.

The completion of the transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and the businesses are aiming to close it by the end of 2022.

The move has been unanimously approved by the boards of TF1, Bouygues, RTL and M6, but could face a lengthy battle for regulatory approval from anti-trust authorities in France due to the mammoth size of the outfit and its dominance of the advertising market.

Paris-based Bouygues Group would hold a 30% stake in the as-yet-unnamed France-based company, with Fremantle owner RTL Group involved as a strategic shareholder with a 16% stake.

Creating a new media giant would allow the two to better compete with the powerful US-based streaming platforms in France, they said in their joint statement announcing the merger.


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