Japanese Investor in Talks to Take Stake in TV3

Japan’s TriAsia Group is in talks to acquire a majority stake in local television station TV3 and plans to broadcast Japanese-language shows, the television channel’s owner confirmed Wednesday.

According to TV3’s owner, Khampun Keomony, revenues at the channel have been dropping, which prompted him to look for new investment.

“We perhaps keep 20 percent… and give them an 80 percent share,” Mr. Keomony said. “We can say our income dropped by 80 percent…. If we don’t beef up our capital, we will not move forward because there are so many [TV] stations in our country now,” he added.

The stake in TV3 would be TriAsia’s second investment in Cambodia. Its first was the establishment of the Kiriya coffee shop chain in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Keng Kang I commune last year.

Officials at TriAsia said Wednesday the deal was not yet complete and declined to comment further.

TriAsia CEO Yokoi Tomoyuki wrote on his personal blog on Friday that the firm had signed a deal to obtain 80 percent of TV3. However, the blog post was removed from the website after a reporter inquired about the investment.

“It was agreed to acquire from Khampun Keomony, the current owner of [TV3], 80 percent of the outstanding shares,” Mr. Tomoyuki wrote.

He also wrote that negotiations with Mr. Keomony started in May and that the venture would be the first Japanese-backed television station in Cambodia.

But Mr. Tomoyuki wrote little about his company’s plans for TV3, other than that the station would offer “excellent” Japanese content.

When the deal will go through is currently up in the air because the Phnom Penh Municipality owns part of the television channel and any agreement to sell a majority stake would need ap­proval from City Hall, said its spokesman, Long Dimanche.

Mr. Keomony dismissed City Hall’s involvement and claimed the city had broken their contract with him when they forced him to move TV3’s headquarters from Russian Boulevard in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district to Street 593 in Russei Keo district.

“[The deal] is up to me,” he said.

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