Viacom bolsters Latin American presence with Telefe acquisition

US media conglomerate Viacom has agreed a $345m (€312.5m) deal to acquire Argentinian free-to-air broadcaster Telefe from the Telefónica telecommunications company.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory clearance, has been sealed by the Viacom International Media Networks division of the conglomerate.

Viacom said that by combining Telefe with its pay-television networks the deal will further strengthen VIMN’s position in Argentina and Latin America.

Bob Bakish, acting president and chief executive of Viacom, said: “Telefe is an outstanding broadcast and production business, and this acquisition will accelerate our growth strategy in Argentina, one of the most advanced and valuable media markets in Latin America.

“Viacom has an unrivalled track record of combining free and pay TV networks to deliver strong growth in high-value or high-growth markets, including in the UK and India. 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.”

Antonio Marti, director of business transformation and planning at Telefónica’s Chief Commercial Digital Office, added: “This transaction is consistent with Telefónica’s asset portfolio management strategy – focused in value creation and strategic positioning – and it allows the company to concentrate even more on its principal activities in Argentina: the development of the telecommunications sector and the most advanced technologies in connectivity to drive the digital society of the future.”

Telefe’s sports content has included coverage of the Primera Division, the top tier of Argentinian club football.