Vivendi doubles down on content as it annouces Dailymotion bid

Vivendi doubles down on content as it annouces Dailymotion bid

Vivendi has been busy divesting a number of its telecommunications properties over the past couple of years (such as SFR), and in the process it has amassed a large cash reserve of $9.7 billion. 

Some investors have been eager to see some of that cash make its way back to them in the form of dividends, but Vivendi is holding on to it in order to fuel its next wave of acquisitions (causing a lot of friction amongst shareholders) and its chairman Vincent Ballore has been further criticised for resisting attempts made by third parties to acquire Universal Music Group.

Today, the conglomerate confirmed that it has made an offer to acquire video streaming service Dailymotion, reportedly offering €250m for a 75/80% stake in the company. 

Dailymotion is based in France, and as such previous acquisition attempts have been subject to regulatory approval by the French government. 

Since Vivendi is a French company, it is likely that this acquisition will be seen more positively by regulators (a previous suitor was US-based Yahoo!), although its ownership of Canal Plus means it is already an established player in the video entertainment space. 

The acquisition of Dailymotion would mean continuation of Vivendi's shift in focus towards content-based companies. Universal Music is seen as a key part of this plan and so it makes sense to keep hold of it, although to investors that are looking solely at the bottom line this migh make little sense given the challenges the recorded music industry currently faces and will continue to face going forward.

Although Dailymotion is nowhere near as popular as YouTube for music videos, it would be interesting to see whether the could be some potential for further collaborations between UMG and Dailymotion if the acquisition was to go through.

(Andrea Leonelli)