Vivendi Acquires Majority Stake in Dailymotion
By Andrew Dickens for C21Media
French media giant Vivendi has confirmed its acquisition of a majority stake in online video service Dailymotion from telecoms company Orange for €217m (US$242m).
The deal for 80% of the service, previously mooted in April, marks Vivendi’s first major acquisition since its decision to refocus its efforts on content.
Dailymotion, which attracts 128 million unique visitors per month, has been up for sale for some time.
Yahoo made an offer in the region of US$300m two years ago, and more recently Hong Kong-based PCCW tried to acquire 49%. However, those deals were not supported by the French government, which owns 24.9% of Orange and favoured a sale to a European player.
A Vivendi statement read: “This acquisition is at the core of Vivendi’s digital strategy. With Dailymotion, the group benefits from an over-the-top distribution platform of international stature and of a technological expertise which complements the group’s existing one.”
Earlier this year Vivendi was also linked with a deal to buy European pay TV giant Sky, but the French firm denied the reports in April.
Vivendi sold its Moroccan phone operations business Maroc Telecom in December last year, and in November disposed of the majority of its French mobile phone and IPTV operation SFR. It recently agreed to sell the remaining 20% of SFR to cable operator Numéricâble. However, it kept hold of Universal Group Music and pay TV operator Canal+.
The statement added: “The move gives the company access to music and audiovisual content and allows for the joint development, together with the Universal Music Group and Canal+ Group teams, of original and distinctive content and formats meeting the expectations of a whole new generation of digital consumers.”
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