Mühlemann, Gorny would run combined entity.
Viacom today confirmed it is in the process of acquiring full ownership of German broadcaster Viva Media in a deal valued at about €308.66 million ($373 million).
Viva is MTV's biggest competitor in Germany. Once completed, the new entity will combine Germany's most popular music TV channels -- MTV, MTV2 Pop, Viva and Viva Plus -- and give Viacom a dominance of the sector.
The U.S. media giant announced in Frankfurt, Germany today that it has signed an agreement to purchase the shares of 14 Viva shareholders, which hold a combined 75.8% stake in Cologne-based Viva.
The deal includes the two largest shareholders, Time Warner (30.6%) and Universal Music (15.3%). Almost 25% of Viva shares are floated on the German stock market. Viacom has proposed purchasing those shares in a public tender offer, which will be conducted under German law.
Separately, Viacom is to acquire Time Warner's 49% stake in Viva Plus, a joint venture with Viva Fernsehen GmbH.
MTV Networks Europe, a unit of Viacom's MTV Networks International, will manage the combined German TV channels, Viva's German TV production company Brainpool TV and VIVA's other European TV channels in Poland, Switzerland, Hungary and Holland.
"We've shared a vision with the Viva management and they've bought into it and believe it's the right thing," MTV Networks Europe's president/CEO Brent Hansen tells Billboard.biz.
"We believe that we can much more super-serve the music industry here in Germany -- first and foremost -- by allowing channels to be much more complementary rather than eating in the same space," Hansen adds. "It's not a closing down or a cost cutting exercise, it's about us showing a whole higher level of interest in this market and moving forward."
MTV Networks Central Europe managing director Catherine Mühlemann and VIVA chief executive Dieter Gorny are expected to run the combined companies. Both will report to Hansen.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.