French media giant Vivendi is in talks to acquire an 80% stake in video hosting website Dailymotion from French Telecom company Orange, in a deal that could be worth $236m.
According to reports, Orange has been looking for a partner to manage Dailymotion for the past two years, claiming that it needs a co-investor to expand the site globally.
The deal, if completed, would result in the control of Dailymotion still being held by a French company, as previously the French government stopped Orange from selling its stake in Dailymotion to a foreign company.
Reuters cited Orange Chief Stephane Richard as saying that a "large majority" of Orange’s board has welcomed the offer, and the deal has come ahead of a rival bid from German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.
Vivendi, which owns French pay-TV group Canal Plus, plans to improve Dailymotion by introducing more exclusive content which the company plans to tap from its own TV and Music businesses.
According to reports, if the deal goes through, Orange will keep a 20% stake in Dailymotion and will also end its search for a partner.
Wall Street Journal cited Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine as saying: "The idea is not to have a Dailymotion that is the no. 2 to YouTube but to make out of Dailymotion the no. 1 in its own niche."