Parsifal and SearchLight looking to buy Orange channels

Private equity groups Parsifal and SearchLight have teamed up with Orange Cinéma Series management to make an alternative offer to acquire the France Telecom-owned channels. The telco is currently in negotiations for the merger of the channels with Canal Plus-owned TPS Star.

Parsifal founder Peter Ekelund told Le Figaro newspaper that his group was prepared to act quickly because its bid did not raise any competition issues, unlike that of Canal Plus. He said he believed that the channels’ subscriber base, currently standing at 400,000 could be multiplied by five or six if they were made available to other platform operators. He also said that the group would invest in the channels with a view to taking advantage of device and platform convergence as well as investing in 3D and on-demand services.