CANAL+ Group has acquired ROK, the leading African film studio and international TV network, in a deal 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 Director General of ROK Productions SAS and maintains a material shareholding in the company.
ROK will produce thousands of 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 a 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”
The acquisition price remains undisclosed, however, sources who are privy to the acquisition confirm there is a cash component to the deal.
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.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Editor at Space in Africa. He writes about Africa’s NewSpace companies and emerging national space programs.