German media group Bertelsmann has put its French television business M6 up for sale after the competition regulator blocked plans for a merger with TF1.
Financial Times reported Thursday that a line of entrepreneurs was queuing up to bid for the channel. They include maritime transport tycoon Rodolphe Saadé, Stéphane Courbit of TV production group Banijay, and investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.
Another possibility is a fresh bid from the Silvio Berlusconi-backed conglomerate MediaForEurope or the telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, who last year both failed to acquire the company.
Czech investor Daniel K?etínský and French telecoms owner Patrick Drahi are also in the frame.
Last Friday, Bouygues, RTL Group, Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 announced they were dropping plans to merge TF1 and M6, describing the remedies offered by the French competition authority as untenable.
However, authority hit back, claiming the merged entity would have created an ultra-dominant player in TV advertising” with the capture of “more than 70%” of total advertising revenue.