Mediawan wants to build a European content leader against Patrick Drahi (SFR/Altice) and Vincent Bolloré (Vivendi/Canal). The company has raised around EUR250 million for media investments and a deal to acquire Groupe AB is believed cost around EUR270, of which half will be financed by a loan, according to French press reports.
News about the AB Groupe in take-over talks emerged earlier this year, as reported by Broadband TV News.
The group AB Groupe 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 is privately owned, with a majority by co-founder Claude Berda (53%), its management (13.5%), and broadcaster TF1 (33.5%).
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.