Saadé tipped to bid for France’s second-biggest TV commercial broadcaster

Rodolphe Saadé, who has shot up the rankings on France’s rich list during the pandemic-inspired container bull run, is spending cash in multiple directions.

With his liner company CMA CGM making record multi-billion profits, Saadé has created an airline, bought CEVA Logistics, Ingram Micro’s Commerce & Lifecycle Services (CLS), Colis Privé and GEFCO. Saadé has also turned his hand to the media world, moving to take over Marseille’s top newspaper, La Provence, and he is now being linked to a surprise move to buy one of France’s top TV channels.

German media group Bertelsmann has put its TV group M6, France’s second-biggest commercial broadcaster, back on the market following its abandoned merger with TF1.

Bertelsmann’s chief executive Thomas Rabe told the Financial Times that he has asked to receive non-binding offers by today to “test the market” after being “inundated with expressions of interest.”

Among those expected to bid are a consortium of high-profile French entrepreneurs including Saadé.

Forbes lists Saadé as the 26th richest man in the world with a fortune worth $41.4bn. The vast profits his liner company have accrued over the last couple of years have seen many local politicians come out in support of a windfall tax for CMA CGM, something Saadé has fought hard to avoid.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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