Canal+ head points towards flotation in first half of 2011

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The head of pay television channel Canal+ said on Monday that he was not hostile to floating the French part of the company on the stock exchange, probably in the first half of next year.

The French Lagardere group has begun to dispose of its interest of 20 percent in the television company.

The head of Canal+, Bertrand Mehuet, said: "I do not take an unfavourable view towards Canal+ France being quoted on the stock market. I think that Lagardere is very determined."

Canal+ France owns Canal+, known as Canal+ SA, which is already quoted on the stock exchange. It also owns several other pay channels.

"We are still thinking in terms of being able to succeed with a stock market introduction during the first half of 2011. Everything depends on market conditions," Mehuet said. Valuing the assets was a big task, he said.

The French industrial group Lagardere which has big media activities has said it intends to sell its holding in the business, having failed to reach an agreement for Vivendi to buy it.

Since 2008 and up to 2014, under a shareholder agreement, Lagardere is entitled to state between March 15 and April 15 if it wants to sell its share in Canal+.

It is also entitled to ask for Canal+ France to be quoted on the stock exchange here.

It can halt such a procedure at any time, or could relaunch talks with Vivendi between March 15 and April 15.

© 2010 AFP

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