Altice, the acquisitive telecoms group that is building an empire of mobile and cable assets across the globe, is buying NextRadioTV in order to boost its content strategy and add value to its fibre and 4G network offerings.
The company has offered about €607 million ($669 million) or €37 per share to buy the media company in partnership with NextRadioTV CEO and majority shareholder Alain Weill. Under the terms of a deal agreed between the two partners, Weill will ultimately own 24 per cent of an Altice unit dedicated to investments in media companies.
Patrick Drahi, the chairman and founder of Altice, said Weill will be responsible for the expansion of the group's content activities outside of France.
"The development and expansion into media and content in the countries where we are present brings an additional growth driver to Altice and offers attractive synergies with our telecom activities," said Drahi.
Altice is clearly eyeing media and content as a further growth area alongside its cable and mobile network business. Indeed, the company is following what is becoming a well-trodden path by mobile and fixed operators to bundle content services with telecoms service packages in order to attract and retain users.
The company's CEO, Dexter Goei, noted that the convergence of Altice's telecoms assets with the development and production of content is "core to our long-term strategy".
"Media and content are a major growth opportunity for Altice in France and in all of the countries where we are present," Goei added.
Bloomberg noted that NextRadioTV owns assets including the popular French business-focused TV channel BFMTV. Drahi's media assets also include French magazines L'Express and L'Expansion.
Altice has been on a buying spree since its initial public offering in 2014. In June, the company announced a restructuring that will lead to the creation of a new Dutch company called Altice NV to strengthen its ability to make future acquisitions.
Altice is currently in the process of integrating SFR in France and Portugal Telecom and closing the acquisition of cable operator Suddenlink in the U.S.
However, attempts to pick up more assets in France were thwarted in June after the Bouygues Group rejected the company's bid for its telecoms unit.
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