France’s Canal+ has taken a significant minority stake in pan regional streaming service Viu.
Canal+ is making a staggered investment of $300m in Viu, which includes an initial investment of $200m for a 26.1% stake. Canal+ also has the option to increase its stake in Viu to 51%.
Launched by Hong-Kong-based PCCW, Viu has a presence in Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. It has over 66 million monthly active users (MAU) and 12 million paid subscribers, and has a dual model of Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) and Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD).
As well as a strong offering of Korean content, Viu Originals are produced in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and other markets.
In 2022, Viu recorded over $250m in revenue, representing a growth of 36% year over year.
Canal+ and PCCW said their new strategic partnership will enable the further growth of Viu, leveraging the global strength and expertise of Canal+ through various initiatives including collaboration on premium productions and content creation, expansion of global market reach for Viu, and continual user experience improvement.
The partnership will also allow Canal+ to take a major step in developing Asia as a territory for growth.
Maxime Saada, Canal+ Group CEO, said: “I am extremely happy to announce this partnership with PCCW. Canal+ already has leading market positions in Europe and Africa. We are now looking forward to developing Asia as an additional growth engine for the group. Our investment in Viu is a major step towards achieving this goal. Viu is already a business with scale, with its hybrid AVOD and SVOD business model and focus on local content, it has all the ingredients to deliver superior growth and continue to be a leading service in the region and beyond.”
Susanna Hui, PCCW acting group managing director and group chief financial officer, said, “We are very pleased to embark on a partnership with Canal+ to take Viu to the next level with the prospect of global synergies coming from both Canal+ and PCCW. With Viu having established its leadership as a pan-regional streaming service, we believe this is the right time to introduce a strategic partner into the business that would see us furthering our global expansion and growth by unleashing the potential of the Viu business at scale and to create further value for our shareholders.”
Jacques du Puy, Canal+ International CEO, said, “I am impressed with what the Viu team has been able to achieve so far. We are now looking forward to supporting Viu’s rapid growth over the coming years, including through synergies with our existing operations in Vietnam and Myanmar as well as in Africa and the Middle East.”
Janice Lee, Viu CEO and PCCW Media managing director, said, “When we launched Viu, we had set our sights on creating and transforming our media business into an international play by tapping into larger addressable markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. Having created a robust streaming business, we are excited to have the addition of Canal+ as a strategic investor to further accelerate growth by drawing on Canal+ global strength in premium productions, content creation and distribution expertise. We look forward to the next phase of our business with the combined strengths of PCCW and Canal+ behind Viu.”