CEO of CMA-CGM Group Rodolphe Saadé attends the seventh

One of France’s biggest news channels, BFMTV, was bought by billionaire shipping magnate Rodolphe Saadé on Tuesday, July 2, after the takeover was approved by regulators.

Saadé’s CMA CGM Group announced the surprise buy-out of Altice Media, which owns BFMTV and the RMC radio station, in March for €1.55 billion.

BFMTV had long been France’s number one news channel, though in the last two months it has been overtaken for the first time by CNews – seen as part of a rightward shift in the country’s media landscape. CMA CGM said it had finalized the purchase after receiving the green light from media watchdog Arcom and the Competition Authority.

“After having received the approval of the competent regulatory authorities, the CMA CGM group and Merit France [the family’s holding company] today finalized the acquisition of 100% of the capital of ‘Altice Media,'” it said in a statement.

Saadé, who has French and Lebanese citizenship, took over his Marseille-based shipping and logistics company from his father, Jacques Saadé, who died in 2018. Forbes listed his personal fortune as $8.9 billion earlier this year.

He has been working his way into French media, buying newspaper La Tribune and regional Provence dailies in recent years, as well as stakes in TV channel M6 and online video site Brut.

Le Monde with AFP

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