TV production major Banijay to go public via SPAC deal

Mumbai: TV production and distribution company Banijay will go public and enter the stock exchange in Amsterdam through a newly-created special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Banijay is being moved into FL Entertainment, which will also house Banijay founder Stéphane Courbit’s online gambling firm Betclic.

The deal was announced by FL Entertainment and Pegasus Entrepreneurs, a SPAC. The companies will merge. The transaction gives an implied equity value of €4.1 billion and an enterprise value of €7.2 billion – the largest business combination by a European-listed Spac. The shares will begin trading on Euronext in Amsterdam on 1 July.

The Banijay Group claims to be the world’s largest independent content production company, operating over 120 production companies across 22 countries. It produces both scripted and non-scripted content across all genres, including reality shows, entertainment and talk shows, game shows, factual entertainment, documentary, drama, animation and comedy. Banijay has a multi-genre catalogue of over 120,000 hours of original standout programming. It has produced programmes such as "Survivor," "Versailles," "Peaky Blinders," "Germinal" and "MasterChef." The global content production industry was valued at approximately €200 billion in 2021 and is structurally growing.

“Achieving a public listing of FL Entertainment through this partnership with Pegasus Entrepreneurs is a milestone in the history of our group. As a result of the transaction, the group will benefit from a robust balance sheet and will be very well positioned to capture growth in the entertainment industry," commented Stéphane Courbit. "FL Entertainment is all about partnership, and I am pleased to welcome Pegasus Entrepreneurs and its sponsors as shareholders to our strengthened partnership with Vivendi, SBM International, Fimalac and De Agostini, our existing shareholders in Banijay Group and Betclic Everest Group who have given us their full support to make FL Entertainment even more powerful."

"One of the key strengths of FL Entertainment is its management team: François Riahi as CEO of FL Entertainment, Marco Bassetti as CEO of the Banijay Group and Nicolas Béraud as CEO of the Betclic Everest Group. Both Marco and Nicolas have developed their businesses with tremendous success so far and will continue to do so in the new structure, supported by a talented team,” Courbit further said. 

Pegasus Entrepreneurs sponsor, CEO and future member of the FLE Board Pierre Cuilleret said, “Pegasus Entrepreneurs was created by long-term investors with the objective of partnering with an entrepreneur-led European company with a track record of achieving profitable growth, and the potential to accelerate growth and create value with access to our expertise, network and listing platform. We could not dream of a better opportunity than partnering with FL Entertainment and Stéphane Courbit to achieve our objective on behalf of our shareholders."

"The proposed business combination with FL Entertainment benefits from strong support from our shareholders and investors, as evidenced by unprecedented level of non-redemption commitments already received, as well as the largest ever PIPE raising by a European-listed SPAC. We look forward to the next stage of FL Entertainment’s growth and value creation,” Cuilleret added. 

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