Vivendi’s Canal+ acquires ROK Studio


French pay-TV group and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivendi’s Canal+ said it has acquired Nigeria’s ROK Studio.

Lagos-based ROK studio is a Nigerian movie production company owned by IROKOtv, a venture formally backed by Swedish tech investment giant, Kinnevik AB.

For an undisclosed amount, Vivendi’s Canal+ will has just made its first international acquisition in Nigeria’s movie industry famously called Nollywood.

Canal+ is looking to expand into the African market through Nollywood as it looks to withstand global competition from Netflix and Amazon via the video-on-demand platform.

As part of the deal, Canal+ will own ROK’s production, content distribution and publishing channels, from IROKO Ltd, Africa’s digital content distributor for Nigerian films.

ROK said its founder, Mary Njoku, will continue as general director of ROK Productions.

The Nigerian studio said it will also produce Nollywood content for Canal+ group’s French-speaking African audience, to be distributed via IROKO’s subscription video-on-demand app.

According to its disclosure, IROKO formed ROK in 2013. The company said it has produced 40 films and 25 original TV series in Africa.

Sweden’s Kinnevik is the majority owner of IROKOtv. It has since stopped reporting financials of the VOD startups despite its inability to break-even. The Swedish tech investor has not commented on this acquisition.