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Bertelsmann changes its mind over M6 sale

Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said the company had reversed its decision due to concerns over regulatory hurdles

Bertelsmann has decided not to sell its controlling stake in French broadcaster M6 after all. The company owns a 48.3 per cent stake in M6 via its RTL Group.

Last month, TVBEurope reported that the broadcaster’s parent company was considering a sale following the collapse of a merger with TF1.

At the time, Bertelsmann was believed to be looking for indicative bids by Friday in order to “test the water”, with the likes of MediaForEurope, production company Mediawan, and Vivendi all reportedly interested.

However, that seems to have led to a change of mind, with Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe announcing the company had reversed its decision due to concerns over regulatory hurdles.

“Groupe M6 is one of the best-run TV companies in Europe with an excellent management team, led by its CEO Nicolas de Tavernost. In 2021, Groupe M6 achieved record operating results. We will continue to pursue our strategy to build national media groups of sufficient size to compete with the US platforms,” Rabe said in a statement.

RTL Group added that it “remains convinced that market consolidation is necessary to compete with the global tech platforms – and that market consolidation will happen in the European TV markets sooner or later. With a strong presence across TV, radio and streaming, Groupe M6 will play a key role in any further consolidation in the French TV industry.”