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FB Roundup: Rodolphe Saadé, Hans George Näder

FB Roundup: Rodolphe Saadé, Hans George Näder
In this week’s FB Roundup, Rodolphe Saadé agrees to buy the Altice Media group; and EQT is selling its Ottobock stake back to Näder family.
By Glen Ferris
Rodolphe Saadé

Rodolphe Saadé agrees to buy Altice Media group
Rodolphe Saadé, the chairman of container shipping firm CMA CGM, which was founded by his father Jacques Saadé in 1978, is seeking to expand his media business by buying an influential news group. 

The billionaire head of the world’s third-largest shipping company, who has previously launched his own Sunday weekly and purchased online business daily La Tribune, has lined up a €1.5 billion deal to buy the BFM TV news channel and RMC radio station.

As reported by Politico, “the Franco-Lebanese chairman of Marseilles-based CMA CGM has agreed to acquire Altice Media - with its iconic BFM TV news channel and RMC radio station - from telecoms group Altice, according to a statement Friday by the two companies.”

“With this planned acquisition, we have the ambition to continue our long-term development in the media industry,” said Saadé in a statement.

The sale “which will be subject to the usual preconditions and the obtaining of applicable regulatory authorizations, should be finalised during the summer of 2024,” confirmed Altice Media.

In addition to acquiring La Tribune in 2023, Saadé bought Marseille paper La Provence in 2022 and also holds a ten percent stake in television channel M6, the country's second-biggest private broadcaster. 

Saadé is not the only French billionaire to make a move into media ownership. LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault owns Les Echos and Le Parisien, telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel owns Le Monde, and logistics magnate Vincent Bolloré runs CNews and Journal du Dimanche.

Recent years have seen CMA CGM’s profits soar with the group earning €45 billion between 2020 and 2023 alone.

Hans Georg Näder

EQT to sell Ottobock stake back to Näder family
Swedish global investment organisation EQT AB has agreed to sell its stake in Ottobock SE back to the German prosthetics company’s controlling shareholders, Hans Georg Näder and his family.

According to Bloomberg, the Stockholm-based buyout firm “sold its 20% holding in Ottobock to billionaire Hans Georg Näder and his family… The sale fetched about €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion), valuing Ottobock at roughly €5.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter have said.”

EQT expects the deal to be completed in the first half of the year.

The Näder family is believed to be financing the purchase with a €1.1 billion payment-in-kind note at the holding company level. Private credit funds managed by firms including Carlyle Group Inc., KKR & Co., Hayfin Capital Management and Macquarie Group Ltd. are among those providing the financing, according to people close to the deal, as reported by Bloomberg.

EQT invested in Ottobock in 2017 in a deal valuing the business at about €3.15 billion. Founded by Otto Bock in 1919, the company is a major player in the prosthetics sector, having launched the first completely microprocessor-controlled lower limb prosthesis, among other innovations.

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