Comcast’s NBCUniversal is in talks to take a strategic stake of between 15% and 30% in Euronews, Europe’s answer to CNN. The move would lead to a close partnership between NBC News and Euronews, which airs in 13 languages across 155 countries.
Euronews chief executive Michael Peters is in discussions with NBCU representatives with his board’s blessing in order to clinch a deal by the end of this year, a source close to Euronews told Variety. Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who holds a 53% stake in Euronews, would remain the controlling shareholder.
The investment would prepare the ground for a collaborative relationship between NBC News and Euronews that would beef up the latter’s output, and allow NBCU News to expand its operations in Europe further.
NBC News is “in discussions with Euronews about a potential investment and collaborative partnership between the two,” an NBC spokesperson confirmed.
Euronews, which employs more than 400 journalists of 25 different nationalities, is mainly focused on its operations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, but it is expanding elsewhere. It launched pan-African sister channel Africanews in January; in May it boosted its presence in Latin America through a series of distribution pacts; and it stepped up its efforts in the Asia-Pacific region when it set up a subsidiary in Singapore last month.
At the Cannes Film Festival in May, Peters unveiled a revamped brand identity for Euronews, designed by Lambie-Nairn, and also issued a fresh mission statement, which read: “To live and share a unique and global experience of news, knowledge and cultures, expressed through a genuine diversity rooted in our European identity.”