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Orange will look for partner for Dailymotion

Orange plans to invest between €30 and €50 million in Dailymotion and will not divest the online video site in the short term, according to CEO Stéphane Richard. However, it does plan to seek a strategic partner for Dailymotion in the autumn to contribute to its development and, in particular, to help establish it in the US market.

Interviewed by RTL, Richard said that the investment would enable Dailymotion to avoid a widening of the gap separating it from global market leader YouTube.

Richard’s comments came as CCM Benchmark Group, the French publisher of popular websites L’internaute, Comment ça marche and Copains d’avant, expressed an interest in taking a majority stake in the video site.

Interviewed by magazine Challenges, CCM Benchmark Group CEO Benoît Sillard said he was willing to offer Orange the possibility to become a minority shareholder in a new venture, with Dailymotion being integrated into the group in exchange for shares in Orange.

Sillard said he had held talks with Orange and Dailymotion’s management before Orange’s abortive move to sell a majority stake in Dailymotion to Yahoo!. The latter offered €300 million for a 75% stake in the video unit but the intervention of French government minister Arnaud Montebourg put an end to the deal.