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Viacom completes acquisition of 50% stake in 5 regional GECs of Network18 for Rs 940 crore

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate Viacom Inc. has completed its acquisition of 50 per cent interest in Prism TV Pvt Ltd for Rs 940 crore (Rs 9.40 billion).

The acquisition, which was recently approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), gives Viacom a 50 per cent share in five regional channels – Colors Marathi, Colors Kannada, Colors Bangla, Colors Oriya and Colors Gujarati.

The transaction was completed today 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.

While Viacom will hold 50 per cent stake in the above mentioned channels, the remaining 50 per cent stake in Prism TV will continue to be with Network18 Group.

Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman 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.”

Network18 group CEO AP Parigi added: “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.”

Viacom International Media Networks president and CEO Bob Bakish 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.”

Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats said, “This acquisition is a big milestone for Viacom and 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.”

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