Drahi Teams Up With Weill on $670 Million NextRadioTV Offer

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Billionaire Patrick Drahi is teaming up with media entrepreneur Alain Weill to bid about 607 million euros ($670 million) for NextRadioTV, extending an acquisition streak into French media and taking over one of the country’s biggest news channels.

The deal, which would bulk up media holdings such as daily newspaper Liberation under Drahi’s Altice SA, involves the creation of a new company with Weill, Altice said Monday. The venture is bidding 37 euros a share for NextRadioTV, 16 percent more than the stock’s last close. The shares traded at 36.49 euros as of 10:46 a.m. in Paris.

Weill, 54, will ultimately own 24 percent of an Altice unit dedicated to investing in media companies and help expand Drahi’s cable and telecommunications empire beyond France. Weill founded NextRadioTV about 10 years ago and owns television and radio stations specialized in news and sports.

Since its 2014 initial public offering, Altice has become one of Europe’s most acquisitive telecommunications companies. Drahi, 51, is in the process of converting Altice into a new entity to gain a new stock for bigger takeovers.

NextRadioTV owns assets including BFMTV, which last month was among France’s 15 most watched TV channels with a 2 percent share of the national audience.

Among Drahi’s media assets are magazines including France’s L’Express and L’Expansion.