Canal Plus, the Vivendi-owned pay TV group, is set to acquire a 70% majority stake in SPI International, a global media company operating 42 TV channels across six continents. The valuation and other deal terms were not disclosed.
Canal Plus Group, which boasts 22 million subscribers across 40 countries in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia, has ramped up its international footprint in recent years. In Europe, the pay TV group is well positioned in mainland France and Poland where it acquired the M7 Group platform in 2019. It’s also backed by its subsidiary Studiocanal, which is involved in film and TV production, distribution and sales, as well as Kino Swiat in Poland.
Under the terms of the deal, SPI International will keep its current management team and operational structure in place. As such, SPI’s founder and CEO Loni Farhi and Berk Uziyel will continue to manage and develop the company’s business. Canal Plus will also look to build synergies with SPI in international markets. The deal is subject to anti-trust approval.
“Canal Plus and SPI share a common vision for continuous growth and a strong international presence. We have been strategic partners for years, where we have built a great tradition of collaborations and achieving mutual goals,” said Farhi and Uziyel in a joint statement.
The pair added that the alliance between the two groups “will strengthen the existing entertainment products and expand the distribution of our compelling content to far larger audiences.”
Maxime Saada, CEO of Canal Plus Group, said “the acquisition of SPI International is part of the strategy we have been implementing for several years.”
Saada said the company has set itself “the goal of reaching a minimum of 30 million subscribers by 2025, and SPI International will certainly be a key asset in achieving this ambition.”
Jacques du Puy, Canal Plus International CEO, said this “acquisition marks a new strategic step for the development of our European contents.”
“It will be a great opportunity to develop new synergies and businesses for our activities, especially in the Polish market and in the Central and Eastern European countries where Canal Plus operates through M7 brands,” said du Puy.