French conglomerate Vivendi confirmed today that it has made an offer to buy online video streaming site Dailymotion. The company did not divulge details as to how much it is willing to pay, nor how big a stake it would take, but reports put the offer at 250M euros ($272M) for a 75%-80% share. Dailymotion is owned by French telecom operator Orange, in which the State holds a 25% share. The European equivalent to You Tube, Dailymotion has been much coveted in the past few years. Yahoo sought to acquire a controlling stake back in 2013, but the French government in essence put the breaks on such a deal preferring that a buyer be found closer to home.
As recently as last week, Orange was in talks with Hong Kong group PCCW for Dailymotion which says it has 3B video views per month worldwide. But PCCW pulled out on Monday after French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital, Emmanuel Macron, last week urged Orange to exhaust its options before going with a non-European suitor. PCCW said in a statement on Monday, “An environment where policies appear to favor a French or European solution is discouraging for international business participation.”
Vivendi owns French pay-TV group Canal Plus as well as Universal Music Group and would be keen to develop Dailymotion alongside its other similar services including Watchever and Vevo, the Wall Street Journal noted.
Vivendi’s offer comes as the battle over who gets to spend the media giant’s billions has intensified in recent days. Last week, chairman Vincent Bolloré increased his holdings for the third time. Bolloré is facing down continued pressure from activist shareholders ahead of a crucial shareholder meeting April 17.