It spells a return to Canal Plus as a pan-European player taking advantage of the network of national DTH operators that had been established by Providence Equity Partners before the sale of much of their stake to Astorg Partners.
M7 has operations in Belgium (TV Vlaanderen and TéléSat), the Netherlands (CanalDigitaal and Online.nl), Austria (HD Austria), Skylink in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, and M7 Deutschland in Germany.
Between them the operations have 3 million subscribers to hybrid satellite / OTT Pay TV packages with 800,000 subscribing to an basic access package. At the end of the transaction, the Canal+ Group will hold almost 20 million subscribers worldwide, including 12 million in Europe.
In June, Canal’s parent Vivendi successfully placed a €2.1 billion bond to finance the move.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the next few days.