This is a good one – there are many shades of exit now. The music streaming business did not work out well. But the empire of Jason Njoku and his wife will have a really good Christmas party. Yes, France’s CANAL+ Group has bought ROK, the film studio and international TV network in that digital conglomerate. We will hope the French company will bring more money so that they will continue to expand in their movie making business. This is a win Nollywood as I expect them to have more resources to upscale the movies. Yet, I wish it was not outright purchase. Yes, investment would have been better so that Nigeria can keep part of that future growth gain! Of course, not for me to say!
Press statement below
ROK, the leading African film studio and international TV network, has been acquired by CANAL+ Group, comprising production, content distribution and publishing channels. As part of the transaction, IROKO Ltd will also take full control of the JV IROKO+, the #1 SVOD platform in French-speaking Africa. The move comes as CANAL+ Group looks to strengthen its content production reach in Nigeria and across Africa.
As part of the acquisition, ROK founder, Mary Njoku, will continue in a leadership role as Directeur General of ROK Productions SAS, and maintains a material shareholding in the company.
ROK will produce thousands more hours of Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series for CANAL+ Group’s audiences in FSA. As part of the acquisition, CANAL+ Group will continue to collaborate with IROKO Ltd, with non-exclusive content distribution of ROK content via the IROKOtv SVOD app.
ROK was incubated from 2013 onwards, by IROKO Ltd, the leading African digital content distributor for Nollywood content, whose flagship platform IROKOtv has transformed how Nollywood content is accessed and consumed around the world.
Speaking on the acquisition, Mary Njoku says, “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. I’m excited to be taking our platform on the next stage of its journey with CANAL+ Group, who share our passion for creating original content, supporting new talent and together, we have ambitious plans for the future.”
Jacques du PUY, CEO of CANAL+ International says, “Through this acquisition CANAL+ Group is very happy to develop and enhance the catalogue of Nollywood contents and expand the ROK brand inside and outside the African continent.”
In Africa alone, ROK has produced over 540 movies and 25 original TV series, making ROK one of the most prolific production houses in Nollywood.