Vivendi set to buy TVN

08.12 Europe/London, October 27, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

Canal+ Group has announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with ITI and TVN Groups “to create a strategic partnership in Poland”. This effectively means that Time Warner and other potential suitors are now out of the running to buy a majority stake in TVN, with Vivendi the only bidder.

The implications of a deal between the parties are likely to be immense for the Polish TV market, not least for its DTH sector. Canal+ Cyfrowy operates Cyfra+, the country’s second largest satellite platform, while TVN’s interests include platform n and the pre-paid service TNK.
These would undoubtedly be consolidated into a single operation that would take on Cyfrowy Polsat, the market leader, more effectively.
TVN’s interests also include a national commercial station and portfolio of thematic channels.
The majority stake in TVN is believed to be worth at least $800 million (€575.3 million).
Significantly, the France Telecom-backed Polish incumbent telco TPSA only earlier this week denied that it is engaged in partnership talks with Vivendi to buy the majority stake in TVN.
However, it would consider any proposal to do so. TPSA’s broadcast interests include a DTH operation that had 506,000 subscribers as of the end of this September.