Lagardere group to take stake in Canal satellite

$890 mil to be paid for 34% share of digital platform

PARIS — After much speculation, the Lagardere group will finally get its 34% stake in Canal Plus’ digital platform, Canal Satellite, this week.

Lagardere is expected to pay $890 million.

Canal Satellite has 1.4 million subscribers, making it France’s leading digital operation.

In addition, Lagardere is expected to take a 34% stake in Multithematiques, which controls thematic channels such as docu service Planete, retro Canal Jimmy, Cine Cinema and hunting channel Seasons.

Lagardere will pick up the 30.2% Multithematiques stake currently held by Canal Plus’ main backer, Vivendi. Other shareholders include TCI subsid Liberty Media, Canal Plus and financial holding company Part’Com. Multithematiques’ channels are carried in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland and Spain.

Lagardere’s media division head, Arnaud Lagardere, wants to set up new thematic channels, some of which will derive from print magazines controlled by group subsid Hachette Filippachi Medias.

In addition, German group Mannesman may take a 9% share in Canal Plus. That stake would come from Vivendi, which has been looking to reduce its position in the paybox, while remaining Canal Plus’ main shareholder.

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