France: Orange considering stake in Vivendi’s Canal Plus

Orange, a major French telecoms company, has held talks about investing in Vivendi’s pay-TV unit Canal Plus, according to people familiar with the matter.

No structure for the deal has been decided and the companies might instead agree to a partnership, the sources said. If there is an agreement, there is also no guarantee antitrust regulators would approve it.

On Thursday, Orange CEO Stéphane Richard said he was open to buying Canal Plus.

“If Canal Plus were up for sale tomorrow, Orange would definitely look into it. Obviously,” Mr. Richard told reporters on the fringes of a news conference in Morocco on Thursday. “There are many reasons that suggest forging closer ties.”

Paris-based Orange, France’s largest telecoms group, has seen margins squeezed at home by years of tough competition and is particularly interested in Canal Plus’ businesses in Poland and Africa where both companies have been expanding.

Vivendi, meanwhile, has been looking to foster relationships with large telecoms companies to better distribute its content.

Full Content: Market Watch

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.