The head of Dailymotion, the video-sharing site at the centre of an uproar after the French state blocked its sale to Yahoo!, said in an interview published Friday there was still a lot of interest abroad for his firm.
Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg admitted this week to having derailed plans by the US web giant to buy a majority stake in Dailymotion, dealing a blow to attempts by France to appear more business-friendly.
"I regret the governmental obstruction, because we live in a globalised environment in which we have to make choices that maximise our chances of success in the long term," Cedric Tournay, chief executive of Dailymotion, was quoted as saying in Le Monde.
But in an indication it had not had a negative impact, he said his firm, the 12th-largest video-sharing website and an industry leader in Europe, had still received "many expressions of interest from the whole world" after the scuppered deal.
Tournay did not elaborate in the interview, and said the company's board would review the opportunities.
Yahoo! Inc. had been in talks to buy a 75 percent stake in Dailymotion, which is owned by telecommunications firm Orange, itself owned by French giant France Telecom.
But the government, which holds a 27 percent stake in France Telecom, had insisted on a 50-50 split.
Montebourg said Wednesday he had blocked the deal because the US firm was seeking to "devour" the French company. He said the government wanted a "balanced" agreement that would allow Dailymotion to retain its identity.
But the move caused anger in some business circles, and France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard hit out at Montebourg, saying the firm's management—not the government—should be deciding the strategy for Dailymotion.
Tournay said the deal with Yahoo! would have been "exciting" as it would have turned Dailymotion into the US firm's global video platform.
"We would have kept our identity and continued to operate autonomously, but with much bigger ambition. Yahoo!'s strategy is to invest massively in video. Dailymotion would have benefited from these investments," he said.
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