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France’s Mediawan acquires African producer and distributor Côte Ouest

French production group Mediawan has acquired Ivory Coast-based producer and distributor Côte Ouest, taking a majority stake for an undisclosed fee.

Bernard Azria

Côte Ouest has access to content from major US studios for local adaptation and distribution, as well as more than 10,000 hours of programming produced in Africa. It also specialises in Brazilian telenovelas thanks to an exclusive partnership with Grupo Globo.

Côte Ouest’s catalogue of more than 20,000 hours of programming is distributed to more than 150 clients in nearly 70 territories, primarily in French- and English-speaking Africa.

The acquisition also takes Mediawan into the African network broadcasting business via Côte Ouest subsidiaries such as Nina Novelas TV.

The deal expands Mediawan’s presence in Africa, where it already has a stake in Keewu Production, which is based in Senegal capital Dakar. Keewu has produced several series with Canal+ International, Mediawan’s long-standing partner in Africa, such as Sakho & Mangane and Terranga.

Canal+ International supported the acquisition and will hold a minority stake in Côte Ouest and contribute its own content.

François Thiellet, president of Mediawan Africa, said: “Mediawan Africa is dedicated to recruiting talent and producing and promoting African works both within Africa and to other markets around the world.

“This is a major step forward in the development of Mediawan Africa and complements our production operations managed by our company Keewu Production. Moreover, the support of our partner Canal+ International allows us to enrich our catalogue and accelerate the implementation of our strategy towards the promotion of our productions.”

Bernard Azria, founder and CEO of Côte Ouest, added: “I am very proud to have developed Côte Ouest into [one of the] the leading distribution companies in Africa.

“In this ever-changing world, it is of course of the utmost importance to me to guarantee the future of this business that I have carried with passion and conviction for more than 25 years, and I believe the Mediawan group with its great independence, professionalism and its extensive business connections is the best partner to continue driving our growth and secure a long and prosperous future for Côte Ouest.”

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