France 24 shares bought out by government

Alain de Pouzilhac to head up the network

PARIS -- The French government did its Christmas shopping early this year, buying out shares held by private network TF1 and public TV group France Televisions in Gallic international news channel France 24 for 2 million euros ($2.5 million) each.

Alain de Pouzilhac, CEO of state media holding France Monde, will head up the network formerly shared between TF1 and France Televisions.

TF1 originally asked for up to 90 million euros ($112.2 million) to give up its share in France 24 peacefully, despite the fact that its original investment was only 17,500 euros ($21,822).

The French government spends 70 million euros-86 million euros ($87.3 million-$107.2 million) per year on France 24, which airs in French, English and Arabic on TV and on the Web.

Once signed, the deal will add France 24 to the France Monde state holding banding together public radio group RF1 and worldwide TV channel TV5 Monde.