Canal+ ups its stake in MultiChoice

France’s Canal+ has upped its stake in South African pay TV operator MultiChoice from 15% a year ago to 26% today, according to stock market filings.

The pay TV operator initially took a 6.5% stake in the South African service provider two years ago. The company describes the purchases as a long-term investment.

The pair have collaborated on local productions for the African market.

The Vivendi-owned French operator said at the time of its initial investment that the move was a long-term financial investment and was a testament to the confidence it and its parent company Vivendi had in MultiChoice and the African continent.

Canal+ is highly active in Francophone Africa, which it sees as one of its main growth businesses, while MultiChoice has around 19.5 million subscribers across 50 countries, primarily in Anglophone Africa.

There are some areas of overlap between the pair’s respective footprints. As one example, Canal+ launched what it described as the first premium DTH platform in Ethiopia with a 50-channel offering combining international services and local free-to-air broadcasters.

Shortly afterwards MultiChoice announced that it was upping its investment in Ethiopia, the second-largest market on the continent by population after Nigeria.

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