Taken by time, RTL Group throws in towel and renounces sale of its participation in M6 group

The calendar, limited by the renewal of the M6 ​​dissemination authorization set for May 3, had become too tight.


Sell had become too random. After several days of final reflections, RTL Group finally decided “to keep its majority participation in the M6 ​​group”, he said on Monday October 3 at the end of the day. Since the failure of the merger with TF1, ratified on September 16, the possibility of wiping a new disappointment has been part of the plausible hypotheses. “RTL Group considers that legal risks and uncertainties are too high due to the approval processes required from the antitrust authorities and the media authorities, and the calendar of the next renewal of the M6 ​​main channel license”, indicates The press release published in the early evening. This announcement puts an end to the 48.3 % sales process that RTL Group has in M6 Group (M6, W9, 6ter, Gulli and Paris Première television channels, but also RTL, RTL2 and Fun Radio radios) started in January 2021.

The signals had gone to bright red at the start of last week. The first, the president of the Competition Authority Benoît Ciseuré had issued serious reservations for the success of the project, Tuesday, September 27. “If the operation is not notified before the end of October, it will be very difficult,” he had declared before the senators who auditioned it. I am not saying that it is not tenable, but it is very tense “On the part of the one who would not have authorized the M6-TF1 merger without the sale of one of the two channels, the warning was worth information for the already scald teams of M6.

The next day, it was Roch-Olivier Maistre, the president of Arch (ex-CSA), who insisted on the urgency of the situation. “The call for candidates fixes a countdown that makes things extremely restrictive, more than tight,” he detailed before the same assembly. On May 3, 2023, in fact, the dissemination authorization of M6 will expire, and the one who will obtain his renewal will not be able to modify the shareholding for five years. “We can only rule on a change in control of the M6 ​​channel only after the national or Brussels competition authorities have ruled, so these procedures should be fitted,” he added, little encouraging as for the respect of deadlines.

severe disillusionment

Thomas Rabe, the CEO of RTL Group, and Nicolas de Tavernost, the chairman of the M6 ​​executive board, examined all the options at their disposal until the past weekend. But nothing was doing it: better worth to sell, rather than risking seeing a transaction stopped net in the coming months.

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/Media reports.