Canal+ Group Plots European Expansion with M7 Acquisition


Canal+ Group is expanding its European footprint with the acquisition of M7, an independent pay-TV operator in Benelux and Central Europe, from private-equity firm Astorg for just over 1 billion euros.

The deal is subject to approval by the European Commission. M7 distributes local and international channels via satellite and OTT, with a presence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. M7 has a total of 3 million subscribers. Canal+ Group, which has subscribers in France, Switzerland and Poland, says the move will allow it to tap into a potential additional European customer base of 36 million homes. Once the deal is complete, CANAL+ Group will have nearly 20 million subscribers worldwide, including 12 million in Europe.

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. ”

Jacques du Puy, CEO of CANAL+ International, added, “Thanks to the dynamism of its shareholder Astorg and its management team, M7 has become one of the leading independent pay-TV operators in Europe. I am very pleased with this agreement. It will enable us to combine the talents of the managerial teams of CANAL+ and M7, both of high quality and very committed to accelerate our international growth. Our activities will span a total of 40 countries around three gravity centers in Europe, Africa and Asia.”