This paper represents a first attempt to derive a closed-form (Hankel-norm) optimal solution for multivariable system reduction problems. The basic idea is to extend the scalar case approach in  to deal with the mulrivariable systems. The major contribution lies in the development of a minimal degree approximation (MDA) theorem and a computation algorithm. The main theorem describes a closed-form formulation for the optimal approximants, with the optimality verified by a complete error analysis. In deriving the main theorem, some useful singular value/vector properties associated with block-Hankel matrices are explored and a key extension theorem is also developed. Imbedded in the polynomial-theoretic derivation of the extension theorem is an efficient approximation algorithm. This algorithm consists of three steps: i) compute the minimal basis solution of a polynomial matrix equation; ii) solve an algebraic Riccati equation; and iii) find the partial fraction expansion of a rational matrix.