Phone operator France Telecom has acquired the remaining majority stake in Dailymotion, a France-based video-sharing website, to provide an exit for its venture capital backers but said it plans to sell part of its ownership to third parties. In January 2011, France Telecom bought a 49% stake in Dailymotion for €58.8m ($80.5m) with an option to acquire the rest for €61m this year. Investors in Dailymotion since its launch in 2005 had included venture capital firms Atlas Ventures, Advent Ventures, IDInvest Partners and Partech and France’s sovereign wealth fund FSI. Having provided $68.5m over this period, the investors sold a portion of their shares to France Telecom then and the remaining stake now. France Telecom’s Orange subsidiary said: “It is not our ambition or our role to remain a 100% stakeholder of Dailymotion and we are currently working to find the right partner(s). Obviously we cannot comment on this until a deal has been reached but it is clear that to accelerate the development of the company, Dailymotion needs to find a solid strategic partner, probably American, that is capable of opening the doors to the US market.” In 2010, France Telecom used its corporate venturing unit Innovacom to buy an 11% stake in music-streaming site Deezer and bundled its premium subscriptions into many of its Orange phone service’s mobile and internet plans.

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