MFE teams up with French Niel to bid for TV company M6 sources

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MILAN: Italian broadcaster MediaForEurope has joined forces with French billionaire Xavier Niel to make a non-binding offer for a majority stake in French TV company M6, two sources familiar with the matter said Friday.

Milan-listed MFE, formerly known as Mediaset, is owned by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Niel is the founder of the French telecom company Iliad, which is also active in Italy.

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This week he announced that he had bought a 2.5 percent stake in Vodafone.

One of the sources said Niel had yet to decide whether to participate in the bid with Iliad, which he took privately last year, or through other investment vehicles.

Representatives from Niel and Iliad did not immediately respond to a request for comment. MFE declined to comment.

The first cash offers for RTL’s 48.3 percent stake in M6 were expected Friday afternoon after a planned partnership between the company and fellow French broadcaster TF1 collapsed last week.

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MFE aims for growth in Europe to tackle competition from streaming services such as Netflix.

RTL and its German parent company Bertelsmann are advised by JPMorgan.

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