Viacom International Media Networks has acquired free-to-air Argentine broadcaster Telefe for US$345 million in cash.
The deal to buy the popular Spanish-language network from Telefónica S.A. is part of the company’s plan to expand its operations in Latin America.
Telefe reaches 95% of all households in Argentina, which is home to 43 million people, and has attracted a viewership share of around 33% year-to-date in 2016. It produces more than 3,000 hours of Spanish-language content, including seven of the top 10 current local programs, and has a library of 33,000 hours of local content.
Viacom already operates MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central and Paramount Channel in Argentina.
The news comes on Bob Bakish’s first day as VIMN’s acting president and CEO.
“This acquisition will accelerate our growth strategy in Argentina, one of the most advanced and valuable media markets in Latin America,” he said in a statement. “Working together with Telefe’s highly successful team, we can strengthen Telefe’s market-leading status in Argentina and expand its presence around the world using Viacom’s extensive global network, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of Spanish speakers across Latin and North America, as well as in other markets.”
Under the pact, Viacom will acquire all of Telefe’s brands and assets including eight wholly-owned channels in the country’s interior, the international pay net Telefe Internacional, multi-channel network UPlay, multiplatform apps My Telefe and Telefe News and 12 production studios.
The acquisition was financed from Viacom’s existing cash balances. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Viacom’s fiscal year 2017 earnings and is subject to regulatory approvals.