H&Q sells controlling stake in MTV Japan

H&Q Asia Pacific, an Asia-focused private equity firm, has sold its controlling stake in MTV Japan to MTV Networks.

H&Q Asia Pacific, a regional private equity firm founded in 1985, has sold a controlling stake in MTV Japan to minority partner and Viacom-owned MTV Networks for an undisclosed sum. MTV Networks now owns 100 percent of MTV Japan. MTV Networks acquired the 68 percent holding owned by H&Q Asia Pacific.

The acquisition underscores the importance of the Japanese market for the media group. MTV Japan’s advertising revenue for 18 months to 31 June 2006 rose 19 percent from the previous 18-month period, according to a company spokesman who would only describe the company’s growth as “significant”.

H&Q acquired Vibe, a music channel in Japan from Pioneer in 2000, and subsequently created a new joint venture with MTV Networks that became MTV Japan in 2001.

Since H&Q Asia Pacific’s involvement, in addition to robust advertising revenue growth, MTV Japan has experienced cable and satellite distribution growth of more than 100%, making it the most significant music channel in Japan.

Hsu Ta-lin, chairman and founder of H&Q Asia Pacific said: “The success of MTV Japan underscores the acceptance of the brand and its importance across emerging economies in Asia.”

In addition to Tokyo, H&Q Asia Pacific has offices in Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore, Manila and Silicon Valley. H&Q manages total assets of over $2.1 billion invested across a variety of sectors, including technology, manufacturing, branded consumer products, financial services, media and real estate.