French’s Canal Plus Group has agreed a deal to buy pay-television distributor M7, which would establish the company in seven new European countries, potentially providing a basis for its broadcasting business to boost sports rights competition in these markets.
M7 operates in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. It has a total of 3 million subscribers.
Canal Plus Group reached the agreement with M7’s owner, the European private equity fund Astor, at a price slightly over €1bn.
This deal is subject to the approval of the European Commission.
“This development will enable the Canal Plus Group, which has subscribers in France, Switzerland and Poland, to expand into additional European territories with 36 million homes for a total of nearly 90 million inhabitants,” the French company said in statement.