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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  The Meet Group, Inc.    MEET

THE MEET GROUP, INC.

(MEET)
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ProSieben shares rally after CEO Conze's departure

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03/27/2020 | 06:13am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Germany's commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG is pictured in Unterfoehring

Shares in ProSiebenSat.1 Media rallied by 9% on Friday after the abrupt departure of Chief Executive Officer Max Conze ended a drama-filled tenure that unraveled after his deputy denounced a "soap opera" at the German broadcaster.

ProSieben announced in a late-night statement that Conze, 50, was leaving with immediate effect and Chief Financial Officer Rainer Beaujean - who joined last July from a packaging company - would also assume his responsibilities.

In a statement issued after a supervisory board meeting on Thursday evening, Beaujean said ProSieben "will now return to focusing more strongly on our core segment of entertainment and on sustainably profitable business".

Conze had sought to accelerate a pivot to digital commerce and advertising to offset a relentless decline in ProSieben's core commercial TV franchise, but while this preserved top-line growth it squeezed profitability and pushed up debt.

The recent announcement of the $500 million takeover of New York dating app developer Meet Inc incurred the disapproval of Italian broadcaster Mediaset, which took advantage of a precipitous decline in ProSieben's share price to up its stake to 20%.

Sources familiar with the matter say that Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, wanted ProSieben to change course and concentrate on its core media business.

The Italian company has exerted steady pressure on ProSieben, resisted by Conze, to join a European media holding it is setting up to fight back against U.S. streaming giants led by Netflix. Mediaset declined comment on Friday.

TAKEOVER PLAY?

Analysts at Citi said it was possible that Mediaset could partner with Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky, who owns a 10% stake in ProSieben, to make a takeover bid.

Conze's grip on the business had visibly loosened of late, with hand-picked allies he brought in from Dyson, the UK vacuum cleaner maker he headed before joining ProSieben in mid-2018, exiting the business.

Deputy CEO Conrad Albert dealt a decisive blow to Conze's prospects by criticizing ProSieben's "boardroom soap opera" in a newspaper interview. The company took no action for days before saying Albert would leave by mutual consent.

On a personal level, Conze is nursing losses after backing his own turnaround plan by investing 2 million euros ($2.20 million) of his own money in ProSieben stock.

ProSieben's e-commerce bets bundled into its NuCom division - which include dating, sex toys and price comparison sites - will be sold off in due course, the company said.

Investor General Atlantic is a minority partner in NuCom.

By Alexander Hübner and Douglas Busvine

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
MEDIASET 2.01% 1.572 Delayed Quote.-42.07%
NETFLIX, INC. 1.52% 419.73 Delayed Quote.29.72%
PROSIEBENSAT.1 MEDIA SE -3.64% 11.5 Delayed Quote.-17.33%
THE MEET GROUP, INC. 0.32% 6.18 Delayed Quote.23.35%
VIVENDI SE 0.64% 20.57 Real-time Quote.-20.88%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 234 M - -
Net income 2020 3,80 M - -
Net Debt 2020 - - -
P/E ratio 2020 124x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 444 M 444 M -
EV / Sales 2019
Capi. / Sales 2020 1,90x
Nbr of Employees 330
Free-Float 92,3%
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Technical analysis trends THE MEET GROUP, INC.
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Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 5
Average target price 6,54 $
Last Close Price 6,18 $
Spread / Highest target 17,3%
Spread / Average Target 5,78%
Spread / Lowest Target 1,94%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Geoffrey Cook Chief Executive Officer & Director
Spencer G. Rhodes Chairman
James E. Bugden Chief Financial & Accounting Officer
Richard Friedman Senior Vice President-Engineering
Jean B. Clifton Independent Director
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