Viacom poised to buy Telefe from Telefonica

James Pearce
Published on:

Reports claim the US broadcasting giant will buy Argentine broadcaster for $400m

Viacom has has won a bidding process to buy Telefonica’s Argentinian broadcaster Television Federal SA, according to reports.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg claims Viacom outbid Time Warner and the Cisneros Group, owner of Venevision, with a deal worth around $400 million.

The agreement could be announced later this week, according to the report, although the transaction will be subject to regulatory approval.

Telefonica is looking to offload assets to reduce a huge debt, believed to be around €50 billion, but has already seen deals for O2 UK fall through after the European Union blocked a sale to CK Hutchison. It also cancelled an IPO of infrastructure arm Telxius last month, citing low interest from investors.

Television Federal, or Telefe as it is known in Argentina, is the country’s most-watched broadcaster. It comes as Viacom is assessing a merger with CBS Corp, although in its recent financial results, CBS’s CEO Leslie Moonves said discussions were still “in the early stages”. Redstone’s National Amusements owns a controlling 80% stake in both companies.