Groupe M6 has announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of Lagardère’s television business.
This project represents a unique opportunity for Groupe M6 to complement its audiovisual offering for families and to strengthen its overall position in the French media market, both in TV advertising and digital, by leveraging the power of the Gulli brand in on-demand TV (replay and SVOD).
Nicolas de Tavernost, Chairman of the Executive Board of Groupe M6, says: “Following the acquisition of the radio stations RTL Radio (France), RTL2 and Fun Radio, and the disposal of non-strategic assets last year (Girondins de Bordeaux and MonAlbumPhoto.fr), this project marks another significant milestone. It will cement Groupe M6’s position in the audiovisual market, making it the leader among younger viewers, while bolstering its status in on-demand TV and providing it with international exposure.”
This project is a genuine strategic opportunity for Groupe M6, which would add a fourth channel to its portfolio of free-to-air DTT channels made up of M6, W9 and 6ter, and would as a result significantly expand its media offering for the whole family. The Gulli channel has established itself as the most powerful and most trusted French children’s brand with leading content such as Tahiti Quest, Oggy and the Cockroaches and The Loud House. Established in more than 91 countries via distribution agreements, the division will also provide M6 Group with the opportunity to continue to expand its operations at international level.
The project will be subject to consultation with the employee representative bodies of both Lagardère Group’s Television Business and Groupe M6, as well as to approval of the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (French broadcasting authority) and the Competition Authorities.
The project provides for the acquisition of the entire capital in Lagardère Group’s Television Business (excluding Mezzo), which includes:
- Gulli, the leading free-to-air digital channel for children, which had a 16.3 per cent share of its target audience (4- to 10- year- olds) in 2018 and 1.7 per cent of total audience; and an advertising market share of almost 40 per cent on said target in 2018;
- The two pay-TV channels dedicated to younger viewers, Canal J (the first children’s channel created in France, dedicated to viewers aged 6 to 12) and Tiji (dedicated to children aged 3 to 6).
- Lagardère’s other entertainment and music pay-TV channels: Elle Girl TV, MCM, RFM TV and MCM Top;
- The catch-up TV platforms of the various channels, with a total of more than 300 million videos views in 2018, including Gulli Replay – the leading catch-up TV service for children – and Gulli Max, an SVOD service offering children more than 4,000 TV show episodes and films;
- International distribution activities, which notably include the channels Gulli Africa, Gulli Bil Arabi, Gulli Girl and Tiji Russia, distributed in French-speaking Africa, the Middle East and within Russian speaking countries respectively;
- The TV sales house business.
The project would also significantly strengthen the group’s position in on-demand TV, making it the leader in the rapidly growing segment of on-demand content for younger viewers.
In 2017, Lagardère’s TV Business (excluding Mezzo) posted proforma consolidated revenue and proforma recurring EBIT of € 98 million and € 20.6 million respectively. Groupe M6 is targeting EBITA of €40 million for this division by 2023.