Altice Europe hits stumbling block in Molotov acquisition plan

Altice Europe has hit a stumbling block in its attempt to acquire French OTT TV provider Molotov, with a number of Molotov’s investors unhappy with the move, according to a report by French financial daily Les Echos.

According to the paper, citing an unnamed source, there is “a strong probability” that the acquisition will not be completed, with small investors in particular resisting the sale.

According to Les Echos, Molotov investors are unhappy that the proposed deal is not an all-cash purchase but would involve Altice implementing a capital increase of some €10 million, with Molotov expected to throw in a smaller amount to the pot.

Les Echos also reports that it is far from certain that Altice’s deals with France’s commercial broadcasters could be transferred to Molotov, which has struggled to secure deals with broadcasters. More likely the paper says, is that the broadcasters would demand further payment to be carried by an Altice-owned Molotov.

Altice and Molotov entered into exclusive negotiations in January, with Altice promising to give Molotov the means to become a major OTT TV actor in France and internationally, and a vehicle for the distribution of French and international content globally.

Under Altice’s plan, Molotov would retain its brand and will continue to be available to all. However, the startup will be able to lean on Altice’s premium content, commercial strength and international footprint to extend its reach.

Altice also said that the acquisition of majority control of Molotov would bring a superior digital experience to Altice’s SFR subscribers, RED by SFR mobile subscribers and RMC Sport premium TV base.

Altice said it would take a majority stake in Molotov and work alongside its founders and legacy shareholders.