Project Description

Christophe Aumaître

Director M&A, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE

After graduating from university, he started as consultant at Deloitte CF Advisory. In 2012, he joined ProSiebenSat.1 Media, the German mass media company. He’s working in the M&A team and joined the venture firm Aeria Games for a year. Read the full story here. 

  • Where did you study?

I started the MIM program at ESCP Europe in 2009 in the London-Paris-Berlin track. Before I studied at the University of Applied Science in Wiesbaden and worked for Deloitte CF Advisory for one and a half years. In 2008/2009, when the economic crisis hit in, I thought it’s a good time to start a master. I applied at ESCP and got accepted. I also entered into an agreement with Deloitte regarding financing of my Masters as well as that I will come back after graduation.


  • How did you get interested in M&A?

It was a bit of a coincidence to be honest. In 2007, I was at a recruiting event from Deloitte in Sylt (Germany) that focused on corporate finance. I went there with an open mind and in the end they made me an offer for their CF Advisory / M&A team. That’s how I got in but I never said I have to get into M&A or banking. Once I started, I had a lot of fun with it and thought I’d stick with it.

“ProSieben is a very active company when it comes to investments and M&A transactions.”
  • What kind of internships have you done?

I got my first glimpse into the working world at a catering firm called Sodexo where I worked several times before and during my bachelor studies.

During my master studies I did an internship at EY in auditing and another one in the Finance team of Jumeirah working for the Burj al Arab in Dubai. Jumeirah is an Arabic hotel group owned by Dubai Holding, which in turn is owned by the Sheik of Dubai. It wasn’t so challenging from a technical point of view. It was a lot about budgeting, monthly reporting, and summarizing all the hotel financials. But the whole international environment helped me to advance on a personal and cultural level. It was very stimulating and I had a lot of fun. It also helped me later in job interviews because it was a good conversation starter.

I also did an internship at STJ Advisors in London, working as an Analyst in the ECM advisory part. STJ is a small equity capital markets boutique, which accompanies management and shareholders alongside an IPO.


  • After you graduated you joined Deloitte again. What did you do there?

At Deloitte, we had a clear focus on the so called German “Mittelstand” (small and medium sized companies in Germany): we did small transactions in a segment where big investment banks are not active because the projects are too small or you need a local network. For example, a typical customer founded a small technology focused company after university and eventually wanted to sell it – often because he wanted to retire. He assigned us to find a new owner and we started to look for potential financial or strategic investors.

The task was to analyze the entire history of the company, summarize it in transaction documents like teasers, information memorandums, and management presentations. Then approach potential investors, seek for investment offers, compare them and start negotiating. Finally you choose a partner that fits the relevant criteria and is willing to execute the transaction.

It was very focused on these consulting services: finding the best possible deal depending on the preferences of your client. Sometimes your client is looking for the highest price; sometimes he’s looking for a more strategic investor where he can maintain some influence in the company.

“The strategic goal is to be more independent of the TV business and become the digital media powerhouse in Europe. “
  • Your next station was in M&A at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE. As far as I know, they are famous for so-called media-for-equity deals. Can you shed some light on the topic?

Sure. After one and a half years at Deloitte and a lot of cool projects, I was approached by a headhunter to join ProSieben. It sounded like a great opportunity and so I did.

The so-called media-for-equity or media-for-revenue deals that you mentioned were actually first introduced by ProSieben. The best example is the online retailer Zalando: ProSieben got a share of the company and helped them grow significantly through their media support. This model didn’t really exist (at that scale) before, at least not in Germany.

However, this kind of deal is usually a minority holding between 0 and 20%. At the M&A team of ProSieben, we focus more on major, strategic transactions. We get involved if it’s a highly capital intensive investment or if we take over the majority of the company. For example, I accompanied the sale of ProSieben’s Rumanian TV and radio channels in 2013 and acquired Aeria Games in Berlin in 2014 and recently acquired eTraveli an online travel agency focused on Flights located in Uppsala, next to Stockholm.

M&A at ProSieben involves your entire project management skills. From briefing internal stakeholders, coordinating due diligence, valuation, and negotiations to preparing final decision documents for the Executive or Supervisory Board. A full range of responsibilities.

The more opportunistic investments like media-for-equity or media-for-revenue deals are taken care of by SevenVentures mostly independently. These are investments that require few or no capital and are widely spread. In my team, we have to ask strategic questions like: Why are we the best owners of a particular business? Why do we think that this business will become a market leader by means of our media capabilities?

The final deals are usually an overall package of money, coaching and media services.


  • The entire media industry is changing because of digital transformation. What’s the strategic positioning of ProSieben?

Well, the strategic goal is to be more independent of the TV business and become the digital media powerhouse in Europe.

The TV business is still the most important piece in the group but you can’t expect major growth there. With our M&A activities we want to bring ProSieben and the digital world together. We either support digital businesses through our media capabilities or acquire new digital businesses and evolve them. These activities will increasingly make up a bigger share of the revenue and EBITDA of the group.

Of course, this is a strategy a lot of players are trying to follow at the moment. But from a market perception, I think ProSieben is the most active in this area compared to Bertelsmann, Axel Springer, Burda and so on.

“Especially for young graduates like you this is a highly interesting time.”
  • You joined the ProSieben venture Aeria Games in 2014. What was your job there?

Yes. We bought 100% of Aeria Games in April 2014 and I managed the acquisition from the start. After the acquisition I joined them to coordinate and support the financial integration of the business into the ProSieben group. I was responsible in particular for building up a controlling team in order to fulfill the reporting requirements of the headquarter. So I was preparing the integration and passed it along to a more permanent CFO.

At Aeria Games, it was a typical start-up atmosphere, which I really enjoyed. I also had personnel responsibility where I learnt a lot on a personal level. Though I had analysts working for me before as a consultant, it was quite different in this very operational environment.


  • You returned to ProSieben after one year to take your current position as Director M&A. On average, how many M&A projects do you manage today?

It was always clear to me that Aeria Games was only a temporary station. The whole time I was commuting between Berlin and Munich because my private hub was still here in Munich.

Just before I came back, we got a new head of M&A and restructured the M&A team a bit and our old head of M&A, Ralf Schremper moved up to the executive board of ProSieben.

On the director level, we are four colleagues at the moment but we’re hiring intensively. There’s so much going on and it’s hard to say how many projects one manages at the same time. Sometimes you’re well served with just one; sometimes you manage up to five.

In our weekly team meetings everyone presents his or her projects and we decide on the staffing. As mentioned, we’re hiring a lot of new analysts, associates and interns. Especially for young graduates like you this is a highly interesting time. There’s so much going on in the market and we launch new projects all the time.


  • You seem to have French ancestors, judging by your name. What do you think about working and living in Munich?

Yes, my father is French but I was born and raised in Germany. I’m very happy in Munich. It’s a good location and as of now, I can’t really imagine working in France. Personally, I’d rather work in an English-speaking country or in Scandinavia. But that’s not really on the agenda neither. I’m happy and want to stay here for now.