Vivendi confirms offer for French video sharing site Dailymotion as Hong Kong bidder withdraws

PARIS – Vivendi, the Paris-based media multinational, confirmed an offer for the online video sharing platform Dailymotion on Tuesday, a day after a Hong Kong company blamed France’s protectionist policies for its decision to abandon its bid.

A joint statement from Vivendi and Orange, Dailymotion’s parent company, said the companies are entering exclusive negotiations for Vivendi to acquire 80 per cent in the YouTube rival for 217 million euros ($235 million.)

Orange would retain a 20 per cent stake in the company, the statement said.

Orange, the former France Telecom, has been looking for a buyer for Dailymotion since 2012, while the government — a partial stakeholder — itself has been intensely involved in the future of a company it considers an example of French entrepreneurship.

“An environment where policies appear to favour a French or European solution is discouraging for international business participation,” the Hong Kong-based telecom company PCCW said Monday in a statement announcing it was leaving talks for Dailymotion.

France’s government blocked Yahoo from buying the site two years ago, saying its ownership stake gave it the right to overrule a deal it described as unfair.