Canal+ acquires the group of pay-tv M7 for a billion euros

The Canal+ group strengthens a little more international. The subsidiary of Vivendi, has announced the buyout of the company M7, one of the leading independent

Canal+ acquires the group of pay-tv M7 for a billion euros

The Canal+ group strengthens a little more international. The subsidiary of Vivendi, has announced the buyout of the company M7, one of the leading independent operators of pay-tv in Europe for an amount slightly in excess of one billion euros. Held by the bottom of private equity Astorg, this aggregator and distributor of local and international channels, satellite platforms and OTT is present in Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the netherlands. "This is the most important acquisition of the Canal+ group from GST," says Maxime Saada, the chairman of the management board of Canal+ group. If GST was at the time a defensive operation on the French market, the manoeuvre this time is offensive. "It aims to deploy our model on the territories where Canal+ group was not present and is part of our strategy of accelerated development at the international," continues the officer. Grégoire Castaing, the deputy director general in charge of finance and strategy of Canal+, has negotiated the purchase of the company, which was particularly coveted by the american Comcast.

Established 20 years ago, M7 today counts 3 million subscribers. Once the operation is completed, Canal+ totaled almost 20 million subscribers around the world, including 12 in Europe. "Since the arrival of Vincent Bolloré in 2015, this is a near doubling of our global base of subscribers," says Maxime Saada. In addition, "this will allow Canal+ to operate in 40 countries spread around 3 centres of gravity in Europe, Africa and Asia", says Jacques du Puy, president of Canal+ International.

M7 distributes, under various brands, big free-to-air national and international labels, including Disney Channel, HBO, Eurosport, National Geographic, or Nickelodeon. Its turnover exceeds 400 million euros. "This transaction will be accretive for us," says Jacques Dupuy, without giving further details on the profitability of M7.

to Achieve a critical mass to resist in the face of the platforms aggregated as Netflix and Amazon

in Addition to the geographical complementarity with the territories where Canal+ is already implemented, this buy-back offer another virtue. M7 is a distribution group is clean and does not produce any content and edit any tv channel, Canal+ is there a new opportunity to promote their original creations, his new movies, as well as its catalogue of 6,000 titles StudioCanal. "This allows us to absorb the 3 billion euros that we invest in content, for which 500 million of them in the cinema on a subscriber base larger. This is all the game platforms globalized as Netflix or Amazon. As we approach the 20 million subscribers, we reach a critical mass that allows us to play sustainably in the face of these actors", explains Maxime Saada.

This operation is not intended to be a substitute for the attempt to create a Netflix of Europe in the South. "We make the observation that it takes a little more time than expected. The determination of Vivendi on The Southern Europe remains the same", says Maxime Saada. This does not negate either our development capabilities on other territories, such as Ethiopia in Africa. We have the ambition to be a global giant of the european culture and one of the leaders of pay-tv," recalls the officer.

The project still needs to get the green light from Brussels.

Updated Date: 28 May 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees

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