Vivendi has closed a deal to acquire the French video sharing site Dailymotion, the media giant announced today. Exclusive negotiations first began in April this year. Vivendi has purchased an 80% stake from French teleco Orange for $241.85 million. The site, which offers a higher end, more B2B focus than the likes of YouTube, offers natural synergies with Vivendi’s other media assets Canal Plus and, particularly, Universal Music Group.
The site also offers a potentially tantalizing prospect of enhancing Vivendi’s ambitions to build out a pan-European OTT rival to Netflix ahead of the SVOD giant’s continued expansion into Southern Europe later this year.
“This acquisition is at the core of Vivendi’s digital strategy,” said Vivendi’s statement. “With Dailymotion, the Group benefits from an over-the-top distribution platform of international stature and of a technological expertise which complements the Group’s existing one.”
Vivendi is also consolidating is grip on Telecom Italia, Italy’s leading mobile and fixed-line operator, which will give it access to a distribution pipeline in that country, as well as an agreement with Telefonica about distributing its content via the Spanish telco’s pay TV platform Canal Plus Espana.
Vivendi is sitting on a war chest of up to $15 billion following a campaign of asset divestment led by chairman Vincent Bollore. The group is believed to be readying acquisition targets after the summer to establish itself as a premium content hub in Europe across film, TV, music and digital.
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