• Canal+ to buy M7 for $1.1bn
  • Deal adds seven new markets to Canal+’s footprint
  • M7 distributes content from Disney, HBO, Eurosport etc

canal french tv credit pixinoo shutterstock

CanalPlay: Canal+ VOD service

Source: pixinoo / Shutterstock

French premium television provider Canal+ has agreed a deal to buy European rival M7 for around $1.1 billion.

Canal+ will acquire M7 from private equity firm Astorg, expanding the Vivendi-owned TV company’s footprint into seven new European countries – the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Romania

Luxembourg-based 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.

The deal, which is subject to approval from the European Commission, would see Canal Plus’s base hit 12 million across Europe, taking its number of markets to nine, including Poland, Switzerland and France. Overall, it reported a subscriber base of 15.75 million at the end of Q1 2019.

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.”

Netflix overtook Canal+ as the leading pay-TV provider in France earlier this year, announcing it had topped the 5m subscriber mark. Canal+ has seen its subscriber base drop in its home market to 4.74 million at the end of 2018.

In a statement, CEO of Canal+ International Jacques du Puy said the deal will allow the company to expand its international growth. “Our activities will span a total of 40 countries around 3 gravity centers in Europe, Africa and Asia,” he added.