Sony Pictures Television Pays $271 Million For Shares in India's TV Net operator Multi Screen Media Private
The deal will bring the U.S. studio's interest in MSM to a little over 94 percent and increase the studio's operational interests on the sub-continent.
LONDON – Sony Pictures Television (SPT), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, is to pay $271 million to ramp up its stake in India's television network operator Multi Screen Media Private.
SPT said it has corralled "approximately 32 percent of the shares" of Multi Screen Media Private, which are owned by Grandway Global Holdings and Atlas Equifin Private Limited.
The move, subject to government approval, will bring SPT’s interest in MSM to a little over 94 percent, Sony said.
The deal is expected to close by the end of December 2012.
"SPT has enjoyed great success with our channels in India and this acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to entertaining Indian audiences," said Andy Kaplan, president, worldwide networks, SPT.
"We’d especially like to thank Grandway and Atlas for their entrepreneurial spirit that helped to get this venture off the ground 17 years ago."
MSM operates television networks in India and its channels include Sony Entertainment Television (SET), one of India's Hindi general entertainment television channels; MAX, India's premium movies and special events channel; SAB, a Hindi channel focusing on entertaining modern India; PIX, a channel that airs Hollywood movie product; MIX, a dedicated music channel; and the recently launched sports channel, SIX.
The acquisition of the shares will be made in stages, subject to governmental greenlight, with $145 million expected to be paid by SPT at the closing of the acquisition by the end of December 2012 with the remaining $126 million to be paid in three equal annual installments starting from the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
A "substantial portion of the impact from this acquisition" has already been included in Sony Corporation's consolidated financial forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 and "no material impact from this acquisition is anticipated on such forecasts," Sony claimed.
SPT internationally produces and distributes over 6,000 hours of programming annually in over 70 countries.
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