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A+E takes full control of channels in Asia

Nancy DubucA+E has finalised a previously announced deal to take full control of AETN All Asia Networks.

AAAN operates A+E channels in Asia and was created in 2007 as a joint venture between Disney and Hearst-owned A+E and Malaysian-based pay TV firm Astro.

A deal between the pair now leaves A+E the sole owner. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The A+E-owned business operates channels across Asia and is run by managing director Alan Hodges, to whom A+E Networks Asia’s management team will report.

A+E announced its intention to take control of the Asian operation in December. An official announcement that the transaction, for which no financial information is available, was concluded was made yesterday by company president and CEO Nancy Dubuc.

“The transition to full ownership of A+E Networks Asia is a first for our company and marks an important milestone,” said Dubuc. “A+E Networks is committed to continued international expansion for our brands and business, and we are bullish on the growth opportunities not just in Asia, but Europe and the Americas as well.”

A+E has historically sought to find local partners for its channel operations. In the UK and Europe its channels operation is a joint venture with pay TV operator BSkyB.

The news comes soon after A+E launched female-skewing Lifetime and H2 in Asia. The company also operates History, Crime & Investigation Network and bio in the region.

A+E Networks Asia’s channel brand portfolio will continue to have carriage in Malaysia and Brunei through Astro Overseas Limited pay TV affiliate Astro Malaysia.

In December, A+E and Astro also said they would continue to collaborate on regional productions designed to spur a local original content drive.