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FIPB defers Viacom’s proposal for acquiring stake in ETV’s R-GECs

MUMBAI: Viacom Inc’s wait for the 50 per cent stake in five regional general entertainment channels of ETV is yet to bear fruit as its proposal before the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has been put off once again.

Viacom had applied to the FIPB via Nickelodeon Asia Holdings Pte Ltd (Singapore) to purchase the entire holdings of Shinano Retail Pvt Ltd (India) in Prism TV Pvt Ltd.

Prism TV owns five TV channels—ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Gujarati and ETV Odia.

TelevisionPost.com was the first to report that upon Viacom getting the necessary approvals, the five channels would be merged with Viacom18 Media, the 50:50 joint venture between TV18 and Viacom Inc.

TV18 had entered into an agreement to acquire a 50 per cent stake in the regional entertainment channels of ETV in 2012. It also had the option of picking up the balance 50 per cent interest.

Later in 2013, TV18 had offered Viacom Inc the option to pick up the remaining 50 per cent stake in the regional GECs. This could have allowed the two companies to keep all the entertainment channels under one JV while expanding the partnership.

Also read:

Viacom awaits FIPB clearance to pick up 50% stake in 5 ETV regional GECs