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Viacom in talks for stake in SS Music

April 22, 2004 07:35 IST

Viacom Inc, the New York-based media giant and owner of music channel MTV, is seeking a majority stake in Chennai-based music channel SS Music. 
Trade sources in the know of the deal said the three-year-old SS Music had been valued by Viacom at $7-$10 million [Rs 31-Rs 44 crore (Rs 310-Rs 440 million)]. The sources also said Viacom executives were finalising the deal in New York and the two sides were expected to sign on the dotted line within a fortnight. 
MTV India's spokesperson said: "We are in talks with SS Music and the status is still work-in-progress. No decision has been taken yet. It (the deal) may happen or may

not happen." 
SS Music executives refused to discuss details of the deal. B D Ramesh Babu, president, SS Music said, "We are in talks with MTV, but we are not in a position to discuss the status of the deal." 
Market sources said this was likely to be an all-cash deal and that no shares would be exchanged. This will be Viacom's first acquisition in India. 
Viacom owns over 100 channels across the world and the purchase of a controlling interest in SS Music is seen as a strategic move to enter the southern markets. MTV's main competitor, Channel [V], too, has for some time been planning to enter the southern music channel market.

S Kalyana Ramanathan in Chennai