AZB, Herbert Smith advise Canal+ to buy USD300m Viu stake

Canal+ Viu stake acquisition AZB Herbert Smith

AZB & Partners has assisted French pay-TV leader Canal+ Group on the Indian aspects of its acquisition of PCCW-owned Asian streaming company Viu in a USD300 million staggered investment.

Canal+ has acquired a substantial minority stake in Viu, PCCW’s pan-regional over-the-top platform operating across 16 Asian and Middle Eastern jurisdictions. Canal+ will invest USD300 million, beginning with an initial USD200 million investment for a 26.1% stake, with an option to increase its ownership to 51%. This investment also includes an indirect acquisition of two Indian subsidiaries Vuclip India Private Limited and Vuclip Digital Media Private Limited.

AZB partner Srinath Dasari and senior associate Adoksh Shastry led the transaction team for the Indian side of the deal. Herbert Smith Freehills was also legal adviser for Canal+, while Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young were financial advisers.

Jefferies acted as financial advisers for PCCW and Slaughter & May provided legal advice for the Hong Kong giant.

Viu – known for providing diverse content in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia – has 66 million monthly active users and 12 million paid subscribers. It is consistently ranked as the leading platform in monthly active users, and second in subscribers and streaming minutes across Southeast Asia among global and regional competitors.

In 2022, Viu reported USD250 million in revenue, a 36% year-on-year increase.

Canal+ said this strategic partnership would expand the French leader’s reach in Asia, while PCCW said the deal would accelerate Viu’s growth.