Mediawan, the Paris-based group founded in 2015, has announced the creation of a dedicated French company, Mediawan Alliance, and has submitted a binding offer and entered exclusive negotiations to acquire France’s Lagardère Studios. Further expanding its footprint, Mediawan said it has taken a majority stake in Spanish content producer Good Mood (El Accidente, La Valla), while Mediawan Alliance would — pending certain conditions — hold a minority stake in German film and TV group Leonine which is backed by New York investment firm KKR.
Mediawan founders Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse will control the new Mediawan Alliance, supported by financing partners including KKR and France’s MACSF, with the objective to build a leader in audiovisual content creation and distribution.
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Mediawan Alliance will launch a tender offer on all Mediawan securities not held by the Mediawan founders and MACSF, at a price of 12 euros ($13.50) per share and .65 euros per warrant. The success of the tender offer, which is expected to be filed with the French authority in early July, would provide them control over Mediawan and would anchor its French shareholding. Mediawan Alliance would then hold a minority stake in Leonine, the entertainment firm formed in 2019 which includes TMG, Universum Film, i&u TV and Wiedemann & Berg Film. Fred Kogel, CEO of Leonine, will become Deputy CEO of Mediawan Alliance. (The minority stake in Leonine is subject to Mediawan Alliance obtaining Mediawan shares representing at least 55% of Mediawan’s share capital and voting rights, on an outstanding and fully diluted basis and including the Mediawan securities held by the Mediawan founders and MACSF.)
The creation of Mediawan Alliance, headquartered in Paris, will allow for co-production opportunities between the French and German groups, the company said. Completion of the transaction is subject to competition authority approvals — notably in France, Germany and Austria — as well as the required regulatory approvals.
The binding offer to Groupe Lagardère for the acquisition of Lagardère Studios by Mediawan is for a total consideration of up to 100M euros ($112M). Lagardère Studios is one of the key independent players in content production and distribution in Europe and Africa, with a presence in France, Spain (Grupo Boomerang), Finland (Aito Media) and the Netherlands (Skyhigh TV). It boasts a total 25 production labels; recent credits include Damien Chazelle’s Netflix drama The Eddy. The deal remains subject to works councils consultation and competition authorities’ approvals.
In parallel, Mediawan Alliance has also entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of production group Troisième Oeil’s audiovisual activities held by Capton after submission of a binding offer, and subject to certain conditions. The company works across unscripted series, documentaries and dramas.
Capton, who is Chairman of the Board of Mediawan and CEO of Mediawan Alliance, said today, “We created Mediawan four years ago with the intention to create a European audiovisual champion to respond to the demand for premium content, and these new operations are unprecedented steps to continue our growth in new European geographies, new formats and with new partners. The combination with key players like Lagardère Studios and Groupe Troisième Oeil and the cooperation projects with Leonine confirm Mediawan’s strategy.”
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