• Canal+ to buy M7 for $1.1bn after sealing regulatory approval
  • EC gives thumbs-up to merger which was announced in May
  • Deal will expand Canal+’s footprint to seven new markets

The European Commission has rubber-stamped Canal+ Group’s $1.1 billion takeover of pay-TV operator M7.

canal french tv credit pixinoo shutterstock

Canal french tv

Source: Pixinoo/Shutterstock

The approval paves the way for Canal+ to complete the acquisition, which was announced in May and adds seven new markets to the French firm’s footprint.

Canal+ will acquire Luxembourg-based M7 from private equity firm Astorg, expanding the Vivendi-owned TV company’s footprint into the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Romania.

Together, the combined company will have around 3 million subscribers signed up to its hybrid satellite and OTT pay TV services, giving Canal+ around 20 million subscribers worldwide.

M7 is an aggregator and distributor of local and international channels across satellite and OTT platforms, with more than 3 million subscribers across Europe. It has annual revenue of around €400 million.

M7’s content partners include the likes of the Disney Channel, HBO and Eurosport. It operates under several brands, including Skylink, HD Austria, and TV Vlaanderen in Belgium.

When the deal was announced, Maxime Saada, chairman of the CANAL+ Group Executive Board, stated: “We are particularly pleased with this acquisition project made possible by Vivendi. The operation would allow CANAL+ Group to approach 20 million subscribers worldwide.

“Our global subscriber base will have almost doubled in five years, with a clear acceleration starting in 2015. This major operation will allow us to strengthen our distribution capacity in order to leverage content originating from our library and our numerous production operations in Europe.”