Viacom acquires stake in Indian regional networks

03 Aug,2015

By A Correspondent

 

Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAB, VIA), announced that it has acquired a 50 per cent interest in Prism TV Private Limited for 9.4 bn Rupees (approximately $153M USD). Prism TV owns and operates regional entertainment channels in India, including ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Oriya and ETV Gujarati, all of which were recently rebranded under the ‘COLORS’ umbrella.

 

The transaction was completed between Nickelodeon Asia Holdings Pte Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., and Shinano Retail Private Limited, a company effectively 100 per cent owned by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. The parties received clearance from India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board earlier this month.

 

With this acquisition, Viacom Inc. will hold 50 per cent of Prism TV and the remaining 50 per cent interest will continue to be owned by the Network18 Group, Viacom’s partner in the Viacom18 joint venture.

 

Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom, said: “We’re thrilled to be broadening our presence in one of the largest and fastest growing TV markets in the world, and deepening our already strong partnership with Network18.  This acquisition is an important step in building on our leadership position in India, a key market in Viacom’s international growth strategy.”

 

A P Parigi, Group CEO Network18, said: “This acquisition by Viacom International Media Networks further strengthens the partnership with Network18 both in terms of depth and breadth. I am confident India will emerge as a global entertainment powerhouse in the year ahead.”

 

Bob Bakish, President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, said: “Regional TV networks – and regional ad markets – are the next wave of growth in India.  Having a strong national and broad regional presence gives us a powerful platform to launch additional brands, and introduce successful franchises and formats across India.”

 

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