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TV18 takes majority stake in Viacom18

India’s TV18 has taken a majority stake in Viacom18, its joint venture with Viacom in the US, to take operational control of the Indian media firm.

David Lynn

TV18 will pay Viacom US$20m to increase its stake in Viacom18 by 1%, bringing its share of the firm up to 51%.

The deal has also seen the brands and content licensing agreement between Viacom and Viacom18 extended by 10 years.

TV18 and Viacom said the agreement showed the two parties reaffirming their commitment to grow the JV. Viacom will continue to hold a 49% stake in the media and entertainment group.

Viacom18 was formed in 2007 as a 50/50 JV between Network18 subsidiary TV18 and Viacom to bring MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1 into India.

The group now operates 44 television channels, including the original three channels alongside networks such as Colors, Nick Jr and Comedy Central, and reported total revenues of 30.4bn rupees (US$477.1m) in the 2016/17 financial year.

“Viacom 18 is one of the fastest-growing companies in India’s dynamic media and technology sector and, as a result of this transaction, we believe it will be even better positioned for accelerated growth through closer integration and alignment with the Network 18 Group and its affiliates, including India’s fastest-growing mobile network, Jio,” said David Lynn, CEO of Viacom International Media Networks.

Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO at Viacom18, added: “This development will allow us to leverage deeper synergies with Jio as we enter our next growth phase.”

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