Canal Plus Group and Telenor have finally settled their dispute and will now proceed with the deal that sees Nordic pay-TV platform Canal Digital sold to the Norwegian telecoms group.
The definitive agreement signed last week (June 14) sees Canal Plus sell its 50% stake to its partner Telenor for a one-off cash consideration of $275m (Euros 290m.) That compares with an original agreement, signed in July 2001, for Telenor to pay $243m (Euros 257m) with a deferred amount of $62m (Euros 66m,) making a total of $315m (Euros 333m.)
The new agreement maintains the original distribution deal which gives Canal Digital exclusive distribution of Canal Plus Nordic's premium channels (Canal +, Canal + Yellow and Canal + Blue) and its Kiosk pay-per-view service.
A dispute arose between the two companies when Telenor refused to make the down-payment until the deal had received clearance from the European Commission (EC). In January a Norwegian court said that Telenor was within its right to delay the payment, but Canal Plus said it would appeal the decision. The deal has still yet to be approved by the EC.
Canal Plus Nordic is carried by satellite and cable in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland and at the end of 2001 had a total of 669,000 subscribers. The Canal Plus Group, part of Vivendi Universal, has this year slimmed down its European pay-TV operations through agreements to sell its Italian and Spanish interests.