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Just as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, online video site Dailymotion may find a new Chinese backer to help it celebrate.
The site’s owner, French telecom company Orange, is set to enter exclusive talks to sell a 49 percent stake of the European YouTube competitor to Hong Kong-based telecom giant PCCW in the coming days, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The talks are expected to last about 45 days. PCCW is said to have made an offer valuing the video site at about $264.5 million (€250 million). The deal would bring in a long-desired foreign partner with deep pockets for the French company to finance expansion in the U.S., which company executives have long said was crucial to the company’s survival.
Dailymotion was launched in March 2005.
Orange has previously tried to find an overseas partner and reached an agreement to sell a 75 percent stake to Yahoo in 2013, only to be stopped by opposition in the French government, which was afraid the California-based behemoth would swallow up one of France’s few homegrown tech success stories. Any sale has been restricted to a 50 percent stake by the government, and Dailymotion has been seeking a partner ever since.
Talks with both Vivendi’s CanalPlus arm and Microsoft fell through last year.
Orange, which changed its name from France Telecom in July 2013, is still owned in part by the French government, which holds a 27 percent stake in the company.
Though it is ranked as the second-most-popular video-viewing site in Europe behind YouTube, Dailymotion is the 32nd-most-visited site in the world, with 2.2 billion views and 105 million unique visitors per month in 2014. YouTube has more than 1 billion monthly uniques.
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