Viacom is in talks to sell a majority stake of its Chinese operations.
The move, which was reported by the Wall Street Journal, would see the Hollywood studio sell a stake in its channels business, which includes MTV and Nickelodeon.
The newspaper reported that Viacom has already held talks with at least one unnamed Chinese entity after struggling to scale its businesses in the country, which has been a notoriously difficult market for international media and entertainment businesses.
Viacom may be using its recent experience in India as a blueprint for growth in China. In January 2018, Viacom sold a 1%, controlling stake in the business to TV18, backed by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries. Although the deal cedes control of the firm, which operates 42 channels and generates revenues of around $500M, it will allow it grow and take advantage of the Reliance firepower. Viacom CFO Wade Davis said that it did the Indian deal to “set the company up for its next wave of growth” and to take advantage of local distribution, particularly Reliance-affiliated Jio platform, one of the largest and fastest growing mobile, broadband and video distribution platforms in India.
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