Murdoch to launch Indian talent agency

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NEW DELHI -- Lachlan Murdoch has partnered with Mumbai-based media company Percept Holdings to launch Percept Talent Management.

The joint venture is an equal partnership between Percept Holdings and Murdoch's company Illyria Pty Ltd. It marks Illyria's first investment here.

The venture was announced Wednesday in Mumbai by Murdoch and Percept Holdings joint managing director Shailendra Singh at an event attended by leading Bollywood actress and PTM client Priyanka Chopra and veteran cricket star Kapil Dev, among others.

PTM plans to represent talent in films, music, television, sports, fashion and branded entertainment.

Though financial figures of the investment was not given, a company statement said that PTM is aiming for a profits of $25 million in its first year of operations with that figure slated to grow to $75 million by the second year.

The concept of talent agencies is relatively new in the industry here, which has traditionally seen stars handled by individual managers.

"After more than a decade of involvement in the Indian media business, I am pleased that my company, Illyria's first Indian investment, leverages the great depth of talent resident here through this partnership with Percept Holdings," Murdoch said in a statement. "I have great faith that PTM will effectively serve its clients and grow into a significant force in the Indian media landscape."

Percept Holdings also own an advertising agency and a film production company, Percept Picture Co. Singh added that "with the infrastructure available within the aegis of the Percept umbrella, PTM will bring in the expertise required to boost and enhance the talent's brand image."

Meanwhile, a report Wednesday in Indian business paper Business Standard stated that Murdoch's father Rupert Murdoch plans to launch News Corp.'s U.K. tabloid the Sun here via a joint venture with a leading South Indian media conglomerate, Sun Group which has interests in various print and broadcasting ventures.

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