New balances in the pay tv field in Europe. M7 and its 3 million subscribers move into Canal+ (Vivendi Group).

Canal+ announces the acquisition of M7, owned by Astorg, a French private equity firm. The purchase price would be slightly over 1 billion euros and, in any case, this acquisition is subject to the European Commission’s approval. This is the latest step in the Vivendi subsidiary’s internationalization plan, which should allow it to expand its European market share in the pay TV sector.

Even if in Italy M7 is not so well-known, it has developed a presence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania where it has a total of 3 million subscribers. M7 distributes major national channels as Disney Channel, HBO, Eurosport, National Geographic and Nickelodeon. M7 would bring an additional distribution platform for the content produced by Canal+, now streamed in France, Switzerland and Poland. Each year, the company invests more than € 3 billion in content production. Via StudioCanal, the Group is a major player in the production of European films and series. It also owns one of the largest film libraries in the world with 6,000 international titles.

Maxime Saada, Chairman of the Canal+ Group, 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”.