France's RTL, parent company Bertelsmann test for M6 stake

France's RTL, parent company Bertelsmann test for M6 stake

RTL and its German parent Bertelsmann didn't say anything about when initial offers were due for the holding in M 6, whose shares were up around 5% at 13.18 euros by 1224 GMT.

Since TF 1 and M 6 called off their planned merger last week, RTL has been inundated with expressions of interest in the M 6 stake, according to Thomas Rabe, the company's boss, told the Financial Times on Thursday.

Rabe, who is CEO of Bertelsmann, said that the market is being tested, which is why we are testing the market.

On the basis of this test, we will decide whether to sell or not, according to Rabe.

A consortium of high-profile French entrepreneurs, including billionaire Rodolphe Saade, are among those expected to bid, according to another source close to the matter, according to another source close to the matter.

French shipping group CMA CGM, of which Saade is chairman and he controls with his family, said it did not comment on market rumours.

Other potential buyers include French media group Vivendi and Altice, owned by billionaire Patrick Drahi, along with Italian media conglomerate MediaForEurope MFE Reuters reported on Monday.

RTL and French conglomerate Bouygues, the main shareholder of TF 1, ended the plan to merge M 6 and TF 1 into a national television champion on Friday, saying demands by the French competition authority made it unworkable.

If TF 1 or M 6 was sold, the deal would only have the approval of the authorities, which was designed to forge a heavyweight in the French television and video streaming market in the face of global competition from Netflix.

If RTL wants to sell M 6 by spring 2023, a deal must be completed because M 6's broadcasting license comes up for renewal in May. After that, its main shareholder would not be allowed to sell it for five years.