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Canal+ Overseas takes majority stake in Thema

François Thiellet

François Thiellet

Canal+’s international arm, Canal+ Overseas, has agreed to take a majority stake in channel distributor Thema.

Created in 2005 by François Thiellet, Thema specialises in the distribution of general interest, thematic and ethnic TV channels to cable, satellite and IPTV operators in France and internatonally.

It also controls French-language African channel Nollywood TV, which was launched in 2012 on the Free, SFR, Orange and Numericable platforms in France as part of the Le Bouquet Africain TV package. Since May 2013, Nollywood TV has also been broadcast in the Evasion offer of the TV operator CanalSat Afrique in more than 20 African countries.

Canal+ has been investing significantly in the African market, most recently launching general entertainment channel A+.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Thiellet will continue to head Thema’s activities.

“The acquisition of the Thema group will accelerate our development strategy, particularly in Africa, and will also give us key know-how in the marketing and packaging of ethnic content, said Canal+ Overseas president Jacques Le Puy.

“We are proud and delighted to be associated with Canal+ Overseas, whose resources and overseas reach will allow us to accelerate Thema’s global growth,” said Thiellet.