The home page of the online betting site BetClic in June 2010 when France opened its online gambling market to competition for the FIFA World Cup (AFP / Joël SAGET)
Banijay, the global television giant, and Betclic, the European heavyweight in online sports betting, went public on Friday in Amsterdam under the name of FL Entertainment, a group led by French audiovisual magnate Stéphane Courbit.
It is a new big blow to the assets of the businessman who, in fifteen years, has made Banijay the world number one in the independent production of audiovisual programs, with more than 120 companies established in 22 countries, behind many successful shows and series such as “Koh-Lanta”, “Peaky Blinders”, “Black Mirror” or “MasterChef”.
This nugget of entertainment and Betclic now cohabit in the FL Entertainment entity, whose stock market value is estimated at 4.1 billion euros, well beyond those of the TF1 and M6 groups combined, which plan to merge to form a another European TV juggernaut.
The title FL Entertainment appreciated by 4.53% to 11.5 euros shortly after its start of listing on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, and closed Friday at the same level, according to the site of the operator Euronext.
FL Entertainment replaced the Spac Pegasus Entrepreneurs, an investment vehicle listed on the Dutch market since December and controlled by the investment company Tikehau Capital and Financière Agache, holding company of the family of Bernard Arnault, owner of LVMH and the group of press Les Echos-Le Parisien.
Going through a spac – a structure launched to raise funds and enter a stock market – offers the advantage of a less complex procedure than a traditional stock market listing.
So far, 646 million euros have been contributed to this operation, including 250 million euros by Financière Lov, a holding company majority-owned by Stéphane Courbit, who invested in Betclic in 2007 and founded Banijay in 2008.
French businessman Stéphane Courbit in February 2015 in Bordeaux (AFP / MEHDI FEDOUACH)
In addition to Stéphane Courbit, who remains the main shareholder of FL Entertainment with just over 46% of the capital and 72% of the voting rights, the structure counts among its shareholders Vivendi (around 19%), the Société des Bains de Mer de Monaco (10%), Fimalac (7%) and Italian publishing giant De Agostini (5%).
It is chaired by Stéphane Courbit and managed by former banker François Riahi.
– Rise of global power –
Listing FL Entertainment on the stock market simplifies its capital structure and accelerates its growth with fresh money.
“We operate in businesses where there is consolidation” in particular in television production, where “customers are becoming global”, streaming operators as well as “traditional customers”, underlined in May Mr. Riahi, also director General of Financière Lov.
The Dutch Endemol Shine (MasterChef, Black Mirror) acquired in 2020 by Banijay, a global audiovisual program production giant (AFP / VALERY HACHE)
But “the TV production sector is fragmented,” he observed.
With only 3% market share, Banijay, with one of the largest catalogs of titles in the world outside the American giants, dominates a television market in which the top 10 in the sector represent just under 15%, recalled- he.
Going public could allow Banijay, which has grown through acquisitions, to pursue this policy more easily and with more resources internationally, particularly in Asia where the group has little presence.
Especially since Betclic, which derives more than 90% of its income from its activities in Europe (France, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Germany), also plans to expand into South America and Africa.
FL Entertainment intends to gain strength globally in the constantly growing content production markets, estimated in 2021 at around 200 billion euros, and in the sports betting market, which should represent 115 billion euros in 2027.
The group is thus aiming for a turnover of 3.8 billion euros in 2022. Last year, Banijay achieved 2.8 billion in turnover and Betclic 835 million euros.