Viacom takes full ownership of MTV Japan

MUMBAI: US network MTV has agreed to acquire the remaining interest in joint venture MTV Japan from private equity firm H&Q Asia Pacific (H&QAP). This will give MTV a 100 per cent ownership in MTV Japan.

The acquisition will be MTV's largest in the Asia-Pacific region and will enable the broadcaster to accelerate growth in Japan and facilitate cross-pollination of innovations across the region and worldwide.

In addition to the MTV Japan joint venture, MTV currently owns and operates Nickelodeon and the digital media brand Flux in the market. Upon completion of the deal, MTVN will combine MTV Japan with Nickelodeon and Flux into one cohesive business where the assets of each brand can be optimised across the entire operation. Prior to this agreement, MTV held a minority stake in MTV Japan.

MTV's parent Viacom president and CEO Tom freston says, "Japan is a huge and important market with a very advanced digital infrastructure. By taking sole ownership of MTV Japan we can now seamlessly operate all of our companies there on a multi-platform basis, putting us on a path to significantly grow our Japanese business."

MTV US chairman and CEO Judy McGrath says, "This deal represents an important step forward in our strategy to drive international growth. Japan is one of the most dynamic media markets in the world, and we are now positioned to lead the Asia-Pacific region in terms of delivering innovative entertainment content to young adult consumers across all platforms."

H&QAP chairman Dr. Ta-lin Hsu says, "The success of MTV Japan underscores the acceptance of the brand and its importance across emerging economies in Asia. At H&Q Asia Pacific, we are proud to have played an integral role in helping MTV Japan establish a leading market position.

"This transaction demonstrates our ability to migrate consumer brands to the Asia-Pacific region."

H&QAP says that it was instrumental in bringing the MTV brand to Japan in 2001. H&QAP acquired Japan's music channel Vibe from Pioneer in 2000 and subsequently created a new joint venture partnership with MTV that became MTV Japan in 2001.

Capturing the potential growth in Japan's cable
and satellite TV industry and seizing the emerging Internet & mobile opportunities by leveraging MTV's strong brand in cable and satellite TV, MTV Japan was created to provide multi-platforms for audiences and sponsors.

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