CORPORATE APPOINTMENTS/DEPARTURES

Ex-Warnermedia Exec Knobloch To Lead New European Entertainment-focused SPAC

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By Stuart Thomson

France’s Groupe Artémis, the investment vehicle of the Pinault family, owners of the Kering luxury group, banker and businessman Matthieu Pigasse and former Warnermedia exec Iris Knobloch have teamed up to launch a new special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) targeted at the entertainment business.

The new outfit, 12PO, will be headed by Knobloch, who was until last month Warnermedia’s president for France, Benelux, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Knobloch, who worked at Warnermedia for 25 years prior to her departure, will serve as chair and CEO of 12PO.

The board of the new company will include Artémis bosses François-Henri Pinault and Alban Greget, a representative of Pigasse’s Combat Holding vehicle and France’s former minister of culture Fleur Pellerin.

SPACs are vehicles set up to raise funds on the stock market without a specific commercial activity, but with the object of investing at a future date. 12PO aims to raise €250 million(US$295.5million), with the possibility that this will rise to €300 million by listing on the Euronext Paris exchange. The outfit is intended to invest in the area of entertainment and leisure.

Pigasse is a co-investor with billionaire Xavier Niel and Pierre-Anton Capton in Mediawan, the French media company also founded as a SPAC six years ago, which subsequently acquired a range of assets including Lagardère Studios and channel provider Groupe AB.

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