Comcast’s NBCUniversal is in exclusive talks to buy a stake in European multilingual news outlet Euronews.
According to a report from Reuters, NBC News said it was “in discussions with Euronews about a potential investment and collaborative partnership.” Euronews’ supervisory board has mandated its chief exec Michael Peters to “conduct exclusive talks with an aim of finding an agreement by the end of the year.”
NBCUniversal is understood to be looking to acquire between 15-30% of Euronews. Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who owns 53% of the Lyon-based broadcaster following a €35M ($38.1M) capital increase last year, would remain the majority shareholder.
Under the plan, NBCUniversal’s minority stake would look to expand news division NBC News’ operations across the pond as well as potentially bolstering Euronews’ current offerings. NBC News is headed up by Deborah Turness, a former British journalist and ITV News editor.
Euronews was created in 1993 with an aim to cover world news from a pan-European perspective. It was borne out of the first Gulf War, when CNN became the preeminent source of 24-hour news programing. In answer to that, the European Broadcasting Union decided to establish Euronews to present information from a European point-of-view, or rather a “European CNN.” Its main headquarters are in Lyon, France, and it broadcasts in 13 different languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian.
At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Peters unveiled a new visual brand identity with a complete graphic overhaul of its news segments, main programs and digital products. It repped a modernization of the brand and said it had a new mission statement: “To live and share a unique and global experience of news, knowledge and cultures, expressed through a genuine diversity rooted in our European identity.”
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