The French AB Groupe is believed to be in negotiations with several media groups, including Mediawan, a media investment vehicle owned by Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse, and Pierre-Antoine Capton, according to Les Echos.
According to the newspaper, discussions in the past with Lagardère and Patrick Drahi’s Altice group have not resulted in an agreement to acquire the group, which owns a large catalogue of programmes as well as a pay TV bouquet of channels including AB Moteurs and Sciences et vie TV, and is believed to have an annual turnover of €180 million.
The AB Groupe, which is majority owned by Claude Berda (53%), its management (13.5%), and broadcaster TF1 (33.5%), employs around 300 employees. The company also owns a record company, AB Disques, and AB Distribution, which exploits the rights of a number of TV programmes including French TV hits Hélène et les garçons, and Club Dorothée.
AB Groupe owns and operates channels in France (AB1, RTL9, TMC Monte Carlo in partnerships, and a host of thematic channels) and in French-speaking Belgium (AB3 and AB4).
The company was founded in 1977 by Jean-Luc Azoulay and Claude Berda as a music production company (hence the name AB), and in 1987 entered the world of television.