Altice plan for NextRadioTV moves ahead

NextRadioTVAltice-backed media unit Groupe News Participations has kicked off the process of acquiring all of French media company NextRadioTV.

The company’s shareholders have until February 1 to accept the €37 a share offer. Groupe News Participations currently holds 50.42% of the capital and 61.83% of the voting rights of NextRadioTV, which operates news channel BFM TV and entertainment service RMC Découverte, as well as related radio stations.

The operation is being financed by Altice via two obligatory convertible offerings of €310 million and €360 million.

NextRadioTV chief Alan Weill, who heads up Groupe News Participations, has a 51% stake in the venture, and a 25% in Altice Contents, the media division set up by the cable and telecom investor to manage its content investments, also headed by Weill.

Altice has an option to take control of Groupe News Participations in March 2019, and also has the options to convert its loans into shares ahead of that date, which would give it control earlier.

The price of the acquisition remains unchanged since the plan was unveiled last year, despite the fact that it is taking place against the background of a changing media landscape in France, with BFM TV’s formerly pay TV rival LCI, backed by TF1, now given a green light to broadcast in the clear.

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