LAGARDERE and CANAL+ Announce Alliance in Digital TV

Category

Finance

Paris, january 13th, 2000

The LAGARDERE and CANAL+ groups are joining forces in digital television to jointly develop and distribute television channels and interactive services on French and international markets. This strategic partnership brings together two French communications groups with international ambitions.

Under the alliance, CANAL+ and LAGARDERE will combine their expertise and experience in programming, technology, interactive services, and European distribution, as well as assets in television, international brands and sales teams. Both groups view the creation of new resources and talents in Europe as a priority.

Underpinning the alliance are several major agreements providing for LAGARDERE Group to acquire equity interests in two CANAL+ subsidiaries, CANALSATELLITE and MultiThématiques:

  • Acquisition of a 34% interest in CANALSATELLITE
  • Acquisition of a 27.4% interest in MultiThématiques
  • Contribution of existing LAGARDERE channels to a company owned jointly by the two partners (LAGARDERE 51%, CANAL+ 49%)
  • Creation of an interactive services company for new channels to be set up jointly (LAGARDERE 51%, CANAL+ 49%)
  • Formation of companies (LAGARDERE 50%, MultiThématiques 50%) for the purpose of creating and distributing new theme-based channels using LAGARDERE content and international brands.

Under this agreement, subject to the required administrative authorizations, the following partnerships will be formed:

  • LAGARDERE Group becomes a shareholder of MultiThématiques

LAGARDERE Group will hold a 27.42% equity interest in MultiThématiques representing FRF 1,500 million, including 20.17% acquired from Vivendi for FF1,000 million and 7.25% acquired for FRF 500 million through a rights issue.

The shareholders of the company headed by Michel Thoulouze will be CANAL+ (27.42%), LAGARDERE (27.42%), Liberty Medias (27.42%), Vivendi (9.09%) and Partcom (8.64%).

The aim of this strategic alliance is to develop existing MultiThématiques brands on new markets, in particular those outside France.

LAGARDERE will also contribute plans for channels based on its international brands to MultiThématiques. These will be developed in companies equally owned by MultiThématiques and LAGARDERE.

  • LAGARDERE Group becomes a shareholder of CANALSATELLITE

The LAGARDERE Group will acquire a 34% equity interest in CANALSATELLITE, headed by Bruno Delecour, through the purchase of the shares held by Vivendi and Warner as well as a 4% stake from CANAL+. The transaction values CANALSATELLITE at FRF 17 billion.

Under this alliance on the French market, the partners will pool their skills and expertise in two companies, one offering theme channels, and the other interactive services:

  • Increase from 19% to 49% in the interest held by CANAL+ in a company producing primarily French-language theme channels (MCM, Canal J, MUZZIK), with a view to offering new channels in areas in which LAGARDERE has specialized (children’s programs, music, people, lifestyles).
  • Creation of a company to be owned 51% by LAGARDERE and 49% by CANALSATELLITE to offer interactive services based on media content from LAGARDERE.

CANAL

+ and LAGARDERE welcome this alliance, which will allow them to expand a widely as possible into the full range of new activities linked to digital television.

CANAL+ and LAGARDERE share a commitment to high-quality content, creativity and innovation, and view international markets as the cornerstone of their growth strategies.

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