France’s Canal+ Group has acquired Nollywood broadcaster and production studio ROK for an undisclosed sum as part of a move to boost its local production in Africa.
The deal was struck with ROK’s Nigeria-based parent company Iroko, which has exited the production and broadcast subsidiary while retaining full ownership of Francophone African SVoD platform Iroko+, which was previously a joint venture with Canal+.
Under Canal+’s ownership, ROK will produce “thousands more hours of Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series” for Canal+’s audiences in French-speaking Africa, according to the French firm.
Iroko, which also owns and operates the Iroko SVoD app across Anglophone Africa, launched ROK in 2013 to produce content for its various platforms. Canal+ Group will continue to collaborate with Iroko, with non-exclusive content distribution of ROK content via its SVoD app.
As part of the deal, ROK founder Mary Njoku will continue as director general of ROK Productions SAS, and retain a shareholding in the company.
“ROK has captured the imagination of millions of movie fans and they have truly supported us as we’ve grown the company to celebrate and enjoy our African culture,” she said.
“I’m excited to be taking our platform on the next stage of its journey with Canal+ Group, which shares our passion for creating original content and supporting new talent, and together we have ambitious plans for the future.”
Jacques du Puy, CEO of Canal+ International, added: “Through this acquisition, Canal+ Group is very happy to develop and enhance the catalogue of Nollywood content and expand the ROK brand inside and outside the African continent.”