TIM forms content company with Vivendi’s Canal+

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

TIM to take 60% stake in new Italian content company formed by Vivendi subsidiary Canal+

TIM and its controlling shareholder, Vivendi, are setting up a jointly owned content company for Italy with Vivendi subsidiary Canal+.

The new company, 60% owned by TIM – formerly Telecom Italia – and 40% by Canal+, will produce content for the operator’s Italian customers.

“With this transaction, TIM is taking an important step forward in the strategy of convergence between telecommunications and media,” said TIM’s new CEO, Amos Genish, who was previously chief convergence officer of Vivendi.

Three of the directors of the still unnamed operation will be appointed by TIM and two by Canal+. Genish will be one of the TIM directors.

The Italian government has complained that French media company Vivendi has become the largest shareholder in TIM, and it has set up special conditions for the governance of parts of the group.

“The joint venture with Canal+ will in fact allow us to seize new opportunities for growth in a market undergoing continuous evolution through a commercial offer of fibre connectivity combined with premium video content,” said Genish.

Meanwhile TIM’s board of directors said it had started its review of the Italian government’s exercise of its so-called Golden Power decree, by which it sets out rules for operation of those parts of the company that have Italian national security implications – including Sparkle, the wholesale carrier, and Telsy, a security equipment specialist.

TIM said it would “engage in all useful discussions with a spirit of full collaboration”, and noted it had “a period of 90 days to inform the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the measures adopted to comply with these prescriptions”.