There are rumours swirling that Orange, the biggest telco in France and one of the biggest in Europe, might buy a large stake in Dailymotion, the “YouTube of Europe.”L’Express, a French newsweekly, posted the story on one of its blogs (French). Here’s Reuters summarizing the report in English.
The valuation being talked about is 250 to 350 million dollars, which is consistent with what we’ve heard elsewhere.
Orange, which provides internet and phone access and services, has been moving up the value chain, aggressively going into content. It previously bought a stake in Deezer, a music streaming site which is hugely popular in France (though it’s getting overshadowed by Spotify).
Orange and Dailymotion share big shareholders in the FSI (Fonds stratégique d’investissement), the French State’s sovereign wealth fund.
Last year, Dailymotion replaced its CEO, laid off a few people, boosted ad sales (including a swanky New York office) and settled a few copyright disputes, and as a result hit profitability. Dailymotion is still being sued by TF1, the biggest TV network in France (and Europe) over copyright issues.
We’re trying to find out more about this and will keep you informed if something comes up.