Bertelsmann’s stock slid 1.3%. M6 Group and TF1 fell on Monday as a French TV company that was to create a major streaming service were forced to shut down.
France’s two biggest private broadcasters withdrew their merger proposal on Friday citing French antitrust regulations that made the deal unfeasible.
French TVs M6 and TF1
M6 Group (MMTP.PA) and TF1 (TFFP.PA) are facing the same problems as other native broadcasters in Europe as a result of the expansion of global video platforms and the desire for a merger.
“French investors are desperate for a unifying project to create a French media champion, and this is how they react,” Mikael Jacoby, head of continental trading at Oddo Securities, said.
M6 shares were down 3% at 1424 GMT, while shares in TF1 were down 3.3%.
An advertising market share loss for TF1 and M6
An advertising market share loss for TF1 and M6, Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Conor O’Shea said, is Netflix and Disney’s upcoming ad-supported subscription service, potentially splitting the pie with Disney+.
Bertelsmann (BTGGg.F) needs to find a buyer for the 48.3% stake in M6 it holds through its RTL unit by early next year, to preserve the life of M6’s broadcasting channel, O’Shea said.
A Paris-based competition lawyer said the new deal would probably be less favorable due to the timing constraints.
Bertelsmann said on Friday that its strategy to create national media champions to compete with the global platforms is still in place, but RTL said on Monday that it will assess its options.
Bertelsmann’s shares fell 1.3%
THE STRENGTH OF BORDER CROSS-STATE VERSUS NATIONAL CONSOLIDATION
Investors fear a new suitor cannot be found in time and media stocks have been badly affected by concerns about a recession in the eurozone.
An analyst said Hedge funds are not keen to take on advertising exposure, people are concerned about next year.
Even pressure was being applied to TF1
“Abandoning the M&A operation at TF1 would be a bad thing for the network, which would – if M6 was sold to a competitor – confront intensified competition,” said Stephane Ekolo, global equity strategist at Tradition in London.
Vivendi (VIV.PA), which is also being mentioned as a potential buyer with Altice, owned by billionaire Patrick Drahi, if Bertelsmann pursues its plans to sell its controlling stake in M6, is opposing the M6-TF1 deal.
MediaForEurope, a group calling for transnational partnerships rather than national consolidation to address the problems of the European television sector, is also regarded as a possible acquisition target by industry observers.
M6, which was for sale at the same time as Mediaset, was also once known as MFE.
MFE shares rose over 6% on Monday.