Mediawan was incorporated in December 2015 as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company(SPAC) for the purpose of acquiring one or more operating businesses or companies in the traditional and digital media content and entertainment industries in Europe.The Company was formed by Pierre- Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse, and raised €250 million in April 2016 from an initial public offering on the regulated market of Euronext Paris.
In March 2017, Mediawan acquired Groupe AB and became present in the content and media industries. Founded in 1977, Groupe AB is a leading independent editor, producer and distributor of audiovisual content in French-speaking Europe. It is primarily involved in producing and distributing series, television movies, cartoons and documentaries and in editing TV channels and bundled digital services.
The group has a portfolio of 19 channels, widely distributed in Frenchspeaking Europe and Africa. Groupe AB is one of the largest and most diversified content managers in France, with about 12,000 hours of programming in library and internal production of about 80 hours per year. In 2016, Groupe AB achieved adjusted revenues and EBITDA of, respectively, €160m and €37m.
After a few years spent in TV studios, Pierre-Antoine Capton decided to launch his own TV production company in 2001.
Fifteen years later, Groupe Troisieme Oeil has become the first French independent producer of shows.
It marks itself out on this competitive market by producing top quality shows such as C à Vous, leader on prime access every evening, Les Carnets de Julie, Des Racines et des Ailes or, more recently, the “Emmanuel Macron: Behind the Rise » documentary, which followed the french president during his campaign and was broadcasted on a french national channel on prime time before being bought by Netflix.
Watching the media market concentration and convinced that quality of contents is the key to success and will draw the future of the audiovisual sector, he partnered with Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse in 2016 in order to create Mediawan.
The company’s IPO in 2017 was a great success.
Mediawan, with Pierre-Antoine at its head, now focuses on gathering together the best companies with the best talents and the best contents in order to take the lead on European market.
Xavier Niel is the Iliad Group’s co-founder and majority shareholder.
He is a self-taught entrepreneur and has worked in the Internet and telecommunications industry since the late 1980s. In 1993 he co-founded France’s first ISP, and in 1999 he created Free – France’s first free-access ISP.
He co-invented Triple Play and the concept of the box, launching the Freebox in 2002 – a unique, state-of-the-art, multiservices box combining broadband Internet with telephony and television.
Xavier has invested in telecom operators in a personal capacity in many countries outside France, including Switzerland, Ireland and Monaco.
In 2013, he co-founded “42”, a not-for-profit organization that delivers free coding training based on peer-to-peer learning. This training is available in a large number of countries and the network of “42” schools currently trains over 5,000 students worldwide. In 2017, the “42” school in Paris was voted the best coding school in the world.
Another of Xavier’s joint creations is Station F – the world’s largest start-up campus, which opened its doors in 2017 and hosts a thousand start-ups in a former railway station in Paris occupying 34,000 sq.m.
Since 2010 Xavier has been the joint controlling shareholder of the Le Monde newspaper and the Télérama, Courrier International and L’Obs magazines.
Through his personal investments, Mr. Matthieu Pigasse developed a deep understanding of the media sector. In 2009, he purchased the magazine Les Inrockuptibles of which he is chairman of the board of directors. Along with Mr. Pierre Bergé and Mr. Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse became co-owner of the newspaper Le Monde in 2010 and of the French weekly magazine L’Obs in 2014. In 2012, he launched the French edition of the “Huffington Post” website. In 2015, he acquired Radio Nova. He is also a significant shareholder in a number of other media like Melty Group and VICE France. In 2015, he was appointed Chairman of one of the largest rock festival in Europe: Les Eurockéennes de Belfort, gathering over 100,000 people every summer. Until 2019, Matthieu Pigasse was Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and Sovereign Advisory of Lazard Group and CEO of Lazard France, he has developed a strong financial expertise and worked on the largest transactions led by the Lazard Group in recent years.
Mr. Pigasse was also Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s technical adviser in 1998 before joining, one year later, Laurent Fabius’ cabinet as a financial and industrial advisor. As a former Chief of Staff of the French Minister of Economy and Finance, Matthieu Pigasse has an intimate knowledge of the public sector as well as the European Regulations.