Farhi, who founded SPI almost three decades ago, will continue to manage the business alongside CEO Berk Uziyel.
Canal+, 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.
Canal+ Group, which boasts 22m 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.
This acquisition will help Canal+ to expand its strategy of investing in content and reinforce its offers on its different markets, by relying on European leader Studiocanal, Kino Świat in Poland, and now SPI International.
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+ will also look to build synergies with SPI in international markets.
In a joint statement, Loni Farhi & Berk Uziyel, said: “It is very exciting news and the start of a new era for SPI International. Canal+ 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. Now we will have the chance to join forces under one roof. SPI will further accelerate its growth with Canal+ while leveraging natural synergies. SPI International has an amazingly talented team that has produced incredible growth in the last decade. Now, with this great team and with much enthusiasm, we are delighted to become part of the Canal+ family. Our joined forces will strengthen the existing entertainment products and expand the distribution of our compelling content to far larger audiences.”
Maxime Saada, CEO of Canal+ Group, added: “The acquisition of SPI International is a is part of the strategy we have been implementing for several years Canal+ currently has 22m subscribers in over 40 countries, including 15 in Europe. We have set ourselves the goal of reaching a minimum of 30m subscribers by 2025, and SPI International will certainly be a key asset in achieving this ambition.”
Jacques du Puy, CEO of Canal+ International, stated: “We are very pleased to welcome SPI to our group. 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+ operates through M7 brands.”