The Canal+ group will acquire OCS, the pay channel package of the telecommunications operator Orange, as well as its film and series co-production subsidiary, they announced on Monday January 9 in a joint press release.
The two French groups have formalized “the signing of a memorandum of understanding” and indicate that “Canal+ will become the sole shareholder of the two companies at the end of this transaction”, OCS and Orange Studio.
The amount of the transaction is not specified. But according to the newspaper Les Echos, “once will not hurt, it is the seller, that is to say Orange, who pays money to the Canal + buyer”. Indeed, OCS, launched in 2008 and which has some 3 million subscribers, is “in debt and in losses”.
A sum “of less than 100 million euros”
This sum “would be less than 100 million euros and above all would not take the form of a dry check to Canal +”, affirm Les Échos. According to the newspaper, this agreement closes a “negotiation of almost two years”.
“Orange will have to bear future negative cash flows (when the company takes out more money than it comes in, editor’s note),” continues the newspaper, according to which “the operator has undertaken to pay minimums guaranteed to Canal+ over three to four years”.
Between 400 and 500 million euros in losses for OCS
“OCS, billed €11 per month alone, has accumulated between 400 million and 500 million euros in losses since its launch, according to our information”, add Les Échos. At present, Canal+ is the main distributor of OCS and holds a 33.34% stake in it, which gave it a right of first refusal.
Since January 1, OCS has lost one of its major content, the emblematic series of the American channel HBO such as “Game of Thrones” or “The Sopranos”. HBO has decided not to renew their distribution contract, in order to reserve its programs for its own streaming platform, which is not yet available in France.
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