Viacom acquires 50% stake in ETV channels

Viacom Inc has completed the process of acquiring 50 % stake in Reliance’s ETV channels. The company had received Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval for the transaction in July, 2015.

The agreement was signed by Nickelodeon Asia Holdings Pte Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., and Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited’s Shinano Retail Private Limited. The ETV clutch of channels, which includes ETV Marathi, ETV Gujarati, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla and ETV Odia, is operated by Prism TV. With the latest deal, Viacom18 with own half of Prism TV while the remaining 50% will be owned by Network18 Group, reports Indian Television. The deal is worth INR9.4 billion.

“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,” said AP Parigi, CEO of Network18.

Viacom18 runs channels such as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Colors. The agreement will help Viacom expand into regional markets.

“This acquisition is a big milestone for Viacom & Network 18 and it showcases their combined conviction to build a powerful broadcast offering for the Indian market.  We are delighted by the transaction and the next growth phase for the companies,” said Sudhanshu Vats, Viacom18 group CEO.