Vivendi Makes Offer for DailyMotion

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Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bollore

Hong Kong company PCCW pulled out of the bidding for the popular online video platform.

French media giant Vivendi has a made a takeover bid for online video company DailyMotion, Vivendi confirmed April 7.  Terms of the offer were not disclosed, but media reports put the value of the deal at around $272 million (€250 million).

Vivendi's bid for the successful video streaming site comes after Hong Kong Telecoms group PCCW group withdrew its own offer Monday following opposition from the French government.

Mobile phone group Orange has a controlling stake in DailyMotion but has long sought a partner to help the video site grow internationally. DailyMotion is the world’s second-most visited video site, but its 128 million monthly unique visitors lag well behind the 1 billion recorded by market leader, Google’s YouTube.

PCCW's bid for DailyMotion was the second blocked by the French government. Yahoo also withdrew an offer for a 75 percent stake in of the company last year. At the time, the French government threatened to block the sale and said control of DailyMotion must remain in French hands.

Last week, the French government said it would not necessarily block the sale to PCCW but asked Orange to explore other options in an effort to find a European partner. The French government holds a 25 percent stake in Orange, formerly known as France Telecom. 

Vivendi's offer comes as the company's billionaire chairman, Vincent Bollore, has moved to increase his stake in the French conglomerate from 8.2 to 10.2 percent.

The DailyMotion bid makes sense for Vivendi, which has deep pockets following sales of many of its telecoms assets. The offloading of Maroc Telecom, French mobile player SFR and its share of Santa Monica-based video game maker Activision Blizzard, has left Vivendi with billions in the bank. The group, which already owns Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga's label Universal Music Group (UMG) and French pay-tv giant CanalPlus, is eager to expand further and is focusing on bringing together content and digital technology.  

Vivendi recently launched its Global Music Data Alliance with international advertising group Havas to form partnerships with brands and artists and to boost artist revenues through big data. Vivendi's Contents division is looking to develop new monetizable formats across the group's music and video platforms.

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