2020 is likely to go down as an eventful year for Canal+ and its operations in Poland.
It began with an announcement by ITI Neovision, the operator of the DTH platform Platforma Canal+, saying that it was exploring the possibility of a floatation. Although short on detail, the note emphasised that Canal+ Group, and ultimately Vivendi, would retain its majority (51%) stake in the company, with the only shares placed on offer being those held by Discovery’s TVN Media (32%) and Liberty Global (17%).
In mid-July the newly rebranded ITI Neovision, now known as Canal+ Polska and authorised by the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) to hold an IPO, set the process in motion by submitting its prospectus to the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. Then, on October 22, Canal+ Polska finally confirmed its plans to float on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) under the previously announced conditions, adding that the offer would be addressed to individual and institutional Polish investors, as well as qualified investors from the US, and that any unsold shares would be locked up.
The floatation will come at a good time for Canal+ Polska, which analysts believe to be worth PLN3.5-3.9 billion (€764-852 million). Its revenues in 2019 amounted to PLN2.27 billion and net profit PLN87.7 million. Aside from Platforma Canal+, its interests include a number of proprietary TV channels, the film distribution company Kino Swiat and an OTT service that made its debut in May this year.
For Discovery and Liberty Global, on the other hand, it will mark an exit from a key media asset in an electronic communications marketplace in which their main assets are TVN and UPC Polska respectively.
By securing new investors Canal+ Polska hopes it will continue developing its premium pay-TV business in what is an increasingly competitive environment.
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