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Patrick Drahi’s Altice Group Sells French BFM & RMC Channels

The Alice Group has sold its media arm, which includes the BFM and RMC TV channels, to French Lebanese billionaire Rodolphe Saadé in a deal valued at $1.68B (€1.55B).

French media reported the sale had been announced to Altice Media employees on Friday morning, following the signing of a legally binding promise to purchase the media group by Saadé’s company CMA CGM.

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News of the deal came just seven months after Altice France’s Israeli-French billionaire owner Patrick Drahi told a shareholders’ meeting that Altice Media was not for sale.

Drahi’s Altice Group is currently battling to reduce an estimated $60B debt pile as well as a corruption investigation involving Altice Portugal and Drahi’s long-term business associate Armando Pereira. Drahi has denied all knowledge of the alleged corporate malpractice.

Saadé’s interest in Altice Media had been rumored for some time.

The Beirut-born, France-based businessman is the chairman of the logistics group CMA CGM, which was founded by his father Jacques Saadé. With an estimated net worth of close to $10B, he is one of the richest people in France and Lebanon.

His CMA CGM Média group already owns the French regional newspapers La Provence, Corse-Matin as well as the financial news journal La Tribune.

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