PARIS, May 10 (Reuters) - French media group Banijay will go
public through a merger with a blank-check acquisition firm
backed by billionaire Bernard Arnault in a deal worth more than
4 billion euros ($4.21 billion), an executive at its parent
company said on Tuesday.
The production house behind global television hits such as
"The Voice," "Black Mirror," "The Kardashians" and "Master Chef"
will be part of a listed entity, dubbed FL Entertainment, whose
first day of listing will be on July 1, the executive, Francois
The deal gives FL Entertainment an enterprise value of 7.2
billion euros, including debt, or 4.1 billion euros in equity
value, said Riahi, who will become CEO of the group.
In 2022, FL Entertainment is expected to generate 3.8 billion
euros in revenue and core operating profits of 650 million
It will go public through the acquisition by Pegasus
Entrepreneurs, a special-purpose acquisition company
(SPAC) notably backed by investment firm Tikehau Capital
and Financiere Agache, a holding company controlled by
LVMH founder Arnault.
FL Entertainment will be home to a second media asset,
online gambling company Betclic. Betclic and Banijay are both
currently controlled by investor Stephane Courbit via his
investment arm Financiere LOV.
The LOV group will inject 250 million euros in FL
Entertainment as part of the deal and will own 46% of its share
capital and 72% of its voting rights.
FL Entertainment also secured 220 million euros in so-called
Pipe financing, which allows a group of institutional investors
to buy shares at a discounted price, Riahi said.
Existing shareholders of Banijay and Betclic, such as a
media giant Vivendi, the Monaco-owned fund Societe des
Bains de Mer and billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere's
Fimalac, also pledged to reinvest.
As a result, Vivendi, controlled by billionaire Vincent
Bollore, will own 20% of FL Entertainment. Societe des bains de
Mer and Fimalac will own 10% and 7% of the entity respectively.
($1 = 0.9494 euros)
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; editing by Tassilo Hummel, Lisa
Shumaker and Mark Porter)