Euronews has embarked on plan to raise additional capital that will eventually see the Egyptian Sawiris’ family’s companies of Egypt headed by Naguib Sawiris staking €35 million to own 53% of the international news channel.
Euronews’ Supervisory Board, which met recently in Paris, has mandated the Chairman of its Executive Board, Michael Peters, to hold exclusive negotiations on an equity-stake acquisition by one of the Sawiris’ family’s companies, the company has announced.
Established in 1993 by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Euronews is currently owned by 21 public television channels and 3 local authorities. Available in 13 languages, Euronews provides rolling coverage of world news produced by 600 journalists from over 30 countries. Euronews is a leading independent media hub, reaching over 420 million homes in 156 countries. It delivers a complete range of products, including websites, mobile applications, smart TV and radio.
“Throughout the past decade, Euronews has truly become a bridge between nations. On the basis of its European perspective, the channel has attracted increasing interest from countries neighbouring the European Union. This makes Euronews unique.” commented Michael Peters. “Today we want to accelerate our growth. The arrival of Naguib Sawiris would be a tremendous asset to Euronews, as this investment would allow a quick implementation of our development plan, while maintaining our European public mission heritage.”
“The public shareholders who support Euronews since over 20 years remain strongly committed to this unique media experience in Europe”, added Paolo Garimberti, President of the Supervisory Board. “We trust that the combination of public and private shareholding will be beneficial for the future of Euronews, as it has already been in the past with Générale Occidentale and with ITN.”
“The Strategic plan for Euronews is based on a strong vision of the future of TV in the current media environment. A plan I believe in and I do fully support”, declared Naguib Sawiris. “I deeply appreciate the editorial values which are strongly attached to the Euronews brand and I will be committed to carefully respect the editorial independence and the mission of general interest of Euronews”.
This growth project fits with Euronews’ European DNA, in line with the partnership agreement signed with the European Commission.
The stake acquisition will only be approved by the Shareholders’ General Assembly after the full completion of the current exclusive negotiations.
Euronews says that to continue to lead in a highly competitive newsmedia environment, an ambitious Strategic development plan was set up in 2014 with the unanimous support of its longstanding shareholders.
The Strategic plan, based on the heritage and strong European values of the channel, focuses on four areas: content, non-linear innovation, brandvalue and diversification. The shareholders agreed to the strong growth potential presented through the plan, whose implementation requires significant additional funds. Based on this conviction, the shareholders decided to open Euronews’ capital to an independent investor. Banque Lazard has been appointed to drive the search for a new partner from within the countries affiliated with the EBU. Amongst the huge interest received, the offer made by Naguib Sawiris has been selected as best suiting the entire scope of requirements, the media company said.