London, July 25, 2014 – Bryan, Garnier & Co, the independent pan-European investment bank focused on European growth companies, is pleased to announce the intention to merge by Wild Bunch S.A., a leading international film & TV distributor and producer, and Senator Entertainment AG, a German film distributor and producer listed on the XETRA Stock Exchange. The combination and prerequisite recapitalisation of Senator is subject to approval by Senator’s shareholders. Bryan Garnier acted as exclusive financial advisor to the shareholders of Wild Bunch.
The newly created Group will immediately be recognised as one of the leading independent European film and TV distributors. With clear market leadership in France, number two in Germany and further leading positions in Italy and Spain, the Group will also be well positioned for growth in key international territories. The combined entity will benefit from one of the largest independent film libraries comprising of over 2,200 titles.
Additional value creation opportunities exist for the Group in capitalising on the already established FilmoTV VOD platform as a stepping stone for digital growth, while the fragmented European film distribution landscape presents a strong framework for driving further consolidation.
The merger is to occur by way of a share for share deal resulting in members of the Wild Bunch management team holding a considerable interest in the combined enterprise. Once the merger has completed members of Wild Bunch management including Vincent Grimond, Vincent Maraval and Brahim Chioua will be appointed to the Management Board.
Bryan, Garnier & Co was mandated by the shareholders of Wild Bunch to advise on structuring an exit for the company’s financial investors, including Iris Capital, as well as securing an incoming investor who would be prepared to support the company’s growth strategy going forward. Bryan Garnier’s deep media industry knowledge and network coupled with a wide geographic reach, provided the Wild Bunch shareholders with a well negotiated, unique solution, whereby maximum value was achieved for all stakeholders.
The transaction further enhances Bryan Garnier’s leading position in public market M&A advisory, as exemplified by transactions completed over the past year including: advising Axway Inc. on its acquisition of a majority stake in Systar S.A. and advising PROS Holdings Inc on its tender offer for Cameleon Software.
Robert Pfeiffer, Global Head of Media at Bryan Garnier, commented on the transaction, “We are extremely pleased for Wild Bunch to realise an important development in their strategy to become a leading international film distribution company.”
Olivier Garnier said, “This is another pleasing demonstration of Bryan, Garnier & Co.’s pan-European and International capabilities in both public and private markets as well as our ability to harness long term relationships through providing deep industry expertise, geographic reach and execution capacity.”
Vincent Grimond, Chairman and CEO of Wild Bunch, says: “The new financially restructured Senator Entertainment benefiting from the strong support of its key shareholder Sapinda and its stock market listing in Germany, is a perfect partner for the next phase of our company’s development.”