Mediawan, the special-purpose acquisition company launched 18 months ago by three French media heavyweights – Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and Pierre-Antoine Capton (pictured above) – has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire French production company Clarke Costelle & Co. (CC&C).
Founded in 2001 by Daniel Costelle, Isabelle Clarke, and Louis Vaudeville, CC&C is best known for producing the top-rated historical documentary franchise “Apocalypse,” which garnered record ratings on French public broadcaster France 2 and sold to more than 165 countries. One of the most successful titles within that documentary franchise was “Apocalypse: The Second World War,” a six-part series entirely made up of colorized archive footage from war correspondents, soldiers, resistance fighters, and private citizens.
Earlier this year, Mediawan completed the acquisition of AB Group, France’s second-largest pay TV group (18 channels) for €270 million ($304 million). TF1 Group had been the majority shareholder of AB Group.
Listed on the Paris stock market, Mediawan reportedly has an estimated €1.5 billion ($1.68 million) to invest and is looking at acquiring film and TV companies, with the ambition to become a leading premium-content platform in Europe.
Mediawan is overseen by Niel, the founder of Lliad, which operates Free, France’s third biggest telco group; Pigasse, the founder of Les Nouvelles Editions Independantes (Le Monde, Les Inrocks, and Nova Radio) and CEO of Lazard Banque; and Capton, the owner of Troisieme Oeil Productions, a leading independent TV producer.
Mediawan recently appointed Guillaume Izabel, who currently handles mergers and acquisitions at Lazard Banque, as chief financing officer. Maxime Guichot-Perere has been named deputy CFO, and Charlotte Margueritte was tapped as head of legal affairs.
The company was previously rumored to be in negotiations with Cattleya, the Italian production company of “Gomorrah.”