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Canal+ take majority stake in SPI International

France’s Canal+ has struck a deal to take a 70% stake in SPI International, the European TV channel and streamer operator behind brands including FilmBox, Film1, Kino Polska and recently launched SVOD Dizi.

Loni Farhi, who founded SPI almost three decades ago, will continue to manage the business alongside CEO Berk Uziyel. Financial details have not been revealed and the deal remains subject to regulatory clearances.

Canal+ and SPI said the deal would create “reciprocal synergies” to assist international expansion, with the current management team and operational structure remaining in place.

SPI operates 42 free-to-air and pay-TV channels across European markets including Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, the Netherlands and Russia.

It is also behind movie service FilmBox and earlier this month revealed the launch of its Dizi-branded streamer, which focuses on Turkish content. The company also works with over 700 third-party operators worldwide to offer access to its linear and on-demand content, while also distributing content.

Farhi and Uziyel said: “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.”

Maxime Saada, CEO of Canal+ Group, added that the deal is part of the French company’s strategy to expand its reach, with SPI joining M7 Group – acquired in 2019 – and Studiocanal, as well as Kino Świat in Poland, under its umbrella.

“Canal+ currently has 22 million subscribers in over 40 countries, including 15 in Europe. We have set ourselves the goal of reaching a minimum of 30 million subscribers by 2025, and SPI will certainly be a key asset in achieving this ambition.”

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