Italian broadcaster MediaForEurope and French billionaire Xavier Niel have joined forces to submit a non-binding offer for a controlling stake in French TV company M 6, according to sources familiar with the matter on Friday.
MFE, which was previously known as Mediaset, is owned by the family of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Niel is the founder of the French telecoms company Iliad, which has operations in Italy.
He announced this week that he has bought a 2.5 per cent stake in Vodafone.
Niel had to decide whether to take part in the bid with Iliad, a private investment vehicle that he took private last year, or through other investment vehicles, according to one of the sources.
Representatives for Niel and Iliad did not respond immediately to a request for comment. MFE didn't want to say anything.
Initial cash offers for RTL's 48.3 per cent stake in M 6 were expected to be received by Friday afternoon after a planned tie-up between the company and French broadcaster TF 1 collapsed last week.
MFE is pursuing growth in European to tackle competition from streaming services such as Netflix.
JPMorgan advised RTL and its German parent company Bertelsmann.