Viacom buys stake in Israeli TV group Ananey

Viacom_CREDIT_André-Pierre du Plessis-Flickr
Image: André-Pierre du Plessis/Flickr

Viacom International Media Networks has purchased a minority stake in Ananey Communications Group, a TV content producer based in Israel.

Deal terms will allow VIMN to acquire a controlling stake in the company.

The formal acquisition builds on VIMN and Ananey’s relationship that has already seen Ananey licensing Viacom brands including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.

In addition to licensing Viacom content, Ananey produces its own TV programming, including Street Food Around the World and The Green Project, for Israel and international markets. Ananey also builds digital platforms like the SpongeBob Master app, available in Israel and Hungary and coming this year to the U.K.

“We are delighted to cement our strong position in this valuable pay TV market and pursue new opportunities with a leading content producer in one of the most dynamic production sectors internationally. We have confidence that the Ananey team will continue to excel in the local and international market and we are excited about what the future will bring,” said David Lynn, president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, in a statement.

“We look forward to working with Viacom to create new horizons for the traditional pay TV market and for the dynamic digital world and leveraging the strong Israeli start up market to advance our shared digital vision,” said Udi Miron, founder and chairman of the Ananey Communications Group, in a statement.

RELATED: Viacom CEO says $345M Telefe buy is part of its independent growth strategy

Viacom’s investment in Ananey comes shortly after the media company acquired Televisión Federal S.A. (Telefe), one of the main free-to-air channels in Argentina, for $345 million.

With a CBS remerger officially on ice and CEO Bob Bakish officially running the company, Viacom is taking steps to strengthen in international business.

"I have been chartered by the board to focus on running Viacom as a strong independent company and putting in place a strategy, which will grow the company over time. This move clearly fits with our international strategy, which is an integral component of the overall Viacom growth strategy," Bakish told the Hollywood Reporter.