Dentons has advised SPI International shareholders Loni Farhi and Berk Uziyel on the sale of a 70% stake in the company to Canal+. Rymarz Zdort advised the buyer.
The transaction remains contingent on regulatory approval. According to SPI, as a result of the deal, "SPI's current owners Loni Farhi and Berk Uziyel will continue to manage and develop SPI’s business with the support of their executive committee, while the parties will be able to generate reciprocal synergies to further strengthen the two groups’ presence in the international markets."
SPI International is a global media company operating 42 TV channels, multiple digital products across six continents, and a player in content distribution and broadcasting worldwide. Founded 28 years ago, the company operates multiple free-to-air and pay-TV channels in the CEE, Western Europe, and CIS regions including key European markets such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, the Netherlands, and Russia. It also owns a suite of legacy brands such as FilmBox, Film1, Kino Polska, Stopklatka, Dizi along with different thematic channels and streaming services. Canal+ is a world pay-TV operator and major player in free-to-air television in France. Its international footprint includes 40 countries in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.
"The acquisition of SPI International is part of the strategy we have been implementing for several years," commented Canal+ Group CEO Maxime Saada. "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 International will certainly be a key asset in achieving this ambition."
The Dentons team included Budapest-based Partner Rob Irving and Associates Kamran Pirani and Sebastian Ishiguro, Warsaw-based Partners Jakub Celinski and Karol Laskowski, Managing Counsel Arkadiusz Wierzbicki, and Senior Associates Tomasz Kordala and Agata Sokolowska, and Amsterdam-based Partner Kuif Klein Wassink and Associate Nick de Rooij.
The Rymarz Zdort team was led by Partner Marek Maciag with the assistance of Associate Monika Michalowska. It included Partners Monika Kierepa and Iwona Her, Counsel Marek Kanczew, Senior Associate Antonina Falandysz-Ziecik, and Associates Hubert Bracichowicz, Aleksandra Pietrzak, Piotr Krolinski, and Karolina Chudy.