Viacom acquires Chinese outdoor ad firm

MUMBAI: Viacom Outdoor which is the outdoor unit of the media conglomerate Vaicom which owns MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount among other entities has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 70 per cent stake in Magic Media.



The Beijing-based Magic Media has the primary rights for advertising on the city's bus system. The deal, which is expected to be completed next month comes with an option to acquire the remaining 30 per cent in five years.

The acquisition is the first in China for Viacom Outdoor, which will become a unit of the new CBS Corporation when Viacom splits into two companies early next year. Buying Magic Media gives Viacom Outdoor a foothold in a city with 15 million residents that will host the 2008 Summer Olympics. Viacom Outdoor will be tapping one of the fastest-growing advertising markets. Ad sales in China will surge 35 per cent this year, compared with a 5.7 per cent rise for the US


Les Moonves, who will be CBS Corporation CEO said, "We are committed to making accretive acquisitions in this high-margin business. Our Outdoor division already possesses a hefty international portfolio. This purchase of Magic Media is now a significant foothold for us in a nation where the growth opportunities are virtually limitless."



WViacom Outdoor International CEO Tom Goddard said, "There is no better way to enter the Asian Pacific market than in the capital of China and the home of the 2008 Olympics. The outdoor market in China is gaining momentum daily and presents tremendous opportunity. We are very excited about the quality and location of this asset as well as the dynamism and professionalism of the local management team. Beijing, with its population of 15 million, is a great place to gain this key footprint, with an eye towards future opportunities."

Magic Media operates media sales on high-profile, central bus routes in the Chinese capital. Asia Pacific, and especially China, has been the world's

fastest growing region in terms of outdoor advertising revenue states Viacom. The China operation will report into Viacom Outdoor's International headquarters in London. Viacom Outdoor International's other media assets include buses in the UK, Ireland, Finland and Holland, rail media in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Holland, and billboards in France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Holland.

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