France’s Canal+ has taken full ownership of SPI International, which is behind European channel brands including including FilmBox, Film1, Kino Polska and streamer Dizi.
The French giant acquired a 70% stake in SPI in 2021 and has bought the remaining 30% from Hilda Uziyel according to regulatory filings.
SPI runs more than 40 free-to-air and pay-TV channels across European markets including Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, the Netherlands and Russia.
Loni Farhi, who founded SPI almost three decades ago, stepped down in April alongside CEO Berk Uziyel.
Canal+ International director of business integration, Erwan Luherne, and Jeroen Bergman, chief of content & business development at Canal+ owned M7 Group, took over their remits.
The SPI deal strengthens Canal+’s market presence across Europe.
Last month, Canal+ took a 12% stake in Nordic streamer Viaplay becoming its largest single shareholder.
Canal+ has been steadily building its international footprint and now has 25.5 million subscribers worldwide, including 9.5 million in France and 7.6 million in Africa.
In France Canal+ is in the process of acquiring rival streamer OCS, in which it has a 33% stake. Through its ownership of M7 Group, Canal+ has a significant presence in the Benelux countries and central and eastern Europe. In June, Canal+ took a significant minority stake in pan Asian streaming service Viu.