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French platforms CanalSat and TPS announce their fusion
Vivendi buys the 18% of TPS to TF1 and will absorb in 2006 French TPS after the coexistence of two platforms of TV by satellite is nonviable commercially in all the great European countries

TPS is the digital platform of TF1 and M6, whereas Vivendi Universal controls the Canal+ Group, proprietor of CanalSatellite, the other platform of digital television via satellite.

At the end of the fusion process, Vivendi Universal will have 85% of the capital of the new platform, TF1 9.9% and M6 the 5.1, has needed the three groups.

The participation of Vivendi Universal could change based on its conversations with Lagardere, but in any case it would conserve the control of the new platform.

This agreement is pending now of the green light of the social instances of the three groups, of the Council Superior of the Audio-visual one and the authorities of the competition.

Initially, Vivendi Universal, proprietor of the pay television Canal+, will take control of a participation of the 18% of its competitor TPS by 150 million Euros, with a view to assuming the total control throughout 2006.

That first participation of 18% will be reduced to the 15% after the cancellation of the debt, and during that first period TPS and the Canal+ Group they will conserve its autonomy of management and action, according to the joint official notice of Vivendi Universal, TFI and M6.

Later, after the approval of the authorities of the competition, Vivendi Universal will recover the 150 million Euros and will acquire by interchange of participation the 85 percent of the new platform constituted by Canal+ and TPS.

Participation of TF1 and M6 in the new platform will be, respectively, of the 9.9 and 5.1%.

TF1 and M6 have decided to continue like shareholders of the new platform by a minimum of 3 years after the conclusion of the fusion of TPS and Canal+.

At the end of that term, TF1 and M6 will have a sale option “that will be accompanied of a minimum amount of guarantee of 1,130 million Euros by 15 percent, which is equivalent to a global value of 7.5 million Euros for the new platform” of television by satellite.

The modalities of the agreement project anticipate the faculty of Lagardere, partner of the Canal+ Group in CanalSat, being shareholder of the activities of TPS and pay television of the Canal+ Group, but diluting participation of TF1 and M6.

In any case, it insists the official notice, Vivendi Universal will have, directly or indirectly, the majority of the capital and the control of the new “enriched and competitive” platform.

This “strategic” fusion will end exceptional” and “unadapted” “the French particularitity to have two platforms of television by satellite.

With the approach of TPS and the Canal+ Group, Vivendi Universal, TF1 and M6 to try to confront the increasing competition in the companies of communications and Internet, like ADSL, TNT or FAI.


(19-12-05)








 
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