People/Biz

Banjiay to go public via European SPAC deal

Banijay, the global producer/distributor behind unscripted series such as Survivor (pictured), MasterChef and The Kardashians, is going public through a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal worth more ...
May 11, 2022

Banijay, the global producer/distributor behind unscripted series such as Survivor (pictured), MasterChef and The Kardashians, is going public through a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal worth more than €4 billion (US$4.21 billion).

The Paris-headquartered company will be part of an entity called FL Entertainment, which will merge with SPAC Pegasus Entrepreneurs, resulting in the listing of FL Entertainment on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. Once the deal closes, the combined company will be named FL Entertainment, and will be led by Banijay founder Stéphane Courbit as chairman and François Riahi as CEO.

Banijay CFO Sophie Kurinckx, meanwhile, will assume the role of CFO of FL Entertainment. Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti will keep his full role and responsibilities, and form part of FL Entertainment’s senior management team.

The newly formed company will also be home to online gambling company Betclic, which Courbit currently controls along with Banijay. Included under the Banijay Group banner are prodcos such as 51 Minds, Authentic Entertainment, Bunim/Murray Productions, Endemol Shine North America, Mastiff Sweden, RDF Television, Remarkable TV, Shine TV,  SimpelZodiak and Zeppelin Television, among others.

The proposed merger is expected to close on June 30, with the new company being listed on July 1.

The deal values FL Entertainment at an enterprise value of €7.2 billion ($7.6 billion) including debt, or €4.1 billion ($4.3 billion) in equity value, the largest business combination by a European-listed SPAC.

Pegasus is backed by European asset management company Tikehau Capital and investment firm Financière Agache. Existing company shareholders, including Vivendi, have already agreed to reinvest in the new company.

FL Entertainment says it expects to generate €3.8 billion ($4 billion) in revenue, and operating profits of €650 million ($685 million) in 2022.

“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,” said Courbit, chairman of the new company, in a news release. “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.”

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