June 22, 2020 / 11:45 AM / 10 days ago

Mediawan to buy Lagardere Studios and form new holding company

PARIS (Reuters) - French group Mediawan (MDW.PA) announced on Monday a raft of deals, including the acquisition of Lagardere Studios, as part of a broader expansion laid out by its founders, who will also establish a new holding company for the business.

Mediawan said its planned takeover valued Lagardere Studios at around 100 million euros ($112 million), as parent company Lagardere (LAGA.PA) restructures and sells off assets it considers as non-core to its business.

Lagardere said the sale would enable it to focus on developing its Lagardere Publishing and Lagardère Travel Retail businesses.

Mediawan was set up in late 2015 by leading French businessmen Pierre-Antoine Capton, founder of French media firm 3e Oeil Productions; Xavier Niel, founder of telecoms group Iliad (ILD.PA); and financier Matthieu Pigasse, with a view to challenging the likes of Netflix (NFLX.O) with premium audiovisual content.

Those three said on Monday they would set up a new company called Mediawan Alliance to develop the existing Mediawan business further.

As part of this, Mediawan Alliance will launch a tender offer on all Mediawan securities at a price of 12 euros per share and 0.65 euros per warrant. The 12 euros price marks a premium of 42.3% to Mediawan’s closing price on June 19.

Mediawan’s shares surged 41% to 11.90 euros by 1130 GMT, while Lagardere shares edged up 0.2%.

Mediawan also bought a majority stake in Spanish-based audiovisual firm Good Mood, and following the tender offer, the new Mediawan Alliance company would hold a minority share in German audiovisual company Leonine.

“The company’s presence on the French market will be greatly strengthened,” wrote Oddo Securities, which kept a “buy” rating on the stock.

($1 = 0.8927 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Lincoln Feast and Louise Heavens

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