Reports: media giant will pay $360M for 75.5% stake.
Viacom is poised to acquire a controlling stake in German broadcaster Viva Media, owner of music-video channel Viva. Viacom is reportedly paying €300 million ($360 million) for a 75.5% stake in Viva Media.
Sources close to Viva's supervisory board tells Billboard.biz that the deal will be announced next week in Cologne, Germany, where the network is based. A Viva spokesperson declined to comment.
A statutory settlement offer would be made to Viva's remaining shareholders, which include Time Warner (holding 30.6% of the shares) and Vivendi Universal (15.3%), as well as several private investors and financial groups. Almost 25% of Viva shares are floated on the German stock market.
Viva Media reported a loss of €4.4 million ($5.28 million) in its most recent fiscal year and has sustained a 20% decline in advertising revenues since 2000.
By engaging in such a deal, Viacom, owner of MTV, stands to greatly improve its market share in Germany. A combined MTV/Viva would gain a dominant position in the local music TV market, and anti-trust regulators would likely scrutinize the deal.
Viva launched in 1993 in Cologne, with BMG, PolyGram, EMI and Warner Music among its founding shareholders. Dieter Gorny has served as CEO of the channel since its launch.