Valuable acquires MovieBeam

Will earmark $100 million over two years for relaunch

The Mumbai-based Valuable Group has acquired MovieBeam, the wireless video-on-demand system originally launched by Disney in 2005.

The system utilized a set-top box, to which Disney delivered 10 new movies per week which were available for rental. The system never really developed much traction, though, and in March 2007, Movie Gallery, the movie and game rental company, acquired MovieBeam.

Thursday, Valuable, headed by Sanjay Gaikwad, announced that it is the latest company to take over MovieBeam and all its assets. Terms of the deal, engineered by private equity firm Dar Capital, were not disclosed, but Valuable said it will earmark $100 million over the next two years to relaunch the system in North America, the U.K. and overseas markets. By the end of this year, it plans to begin by rolling out the service in three markets.

"This acquisition was a strategic fit in our global expansion strategy," Gaikwad said. Valuable will use MovieBeam "to deliver ethnic and Hollywood content to homes and the hospitality industry worldwide. Films will be delivered in high definition and viewers will get access to library films as well as the latest releases on a first day, first show basis."

Ameya Hete, executive director of the Valuable Group and CEO of MovieBeam, spearheaded the initiative and said, "This service will completely redefine the on-demand entertainment market. We have added some cutting edge features to the MovieBeam service that will bring additional and currently unrealized revenues back to the entertainment industry and the deserving constituents."

After launching India's first Infrastructure Business Process Platform for the gaming industry, Valuable went on to launch UFO Moviez, India's first, satellite-based digital cinema network, servicing over 1,200 theaters.

Valuable has established an office in Los Angeles; its latest acquisition brings with it a development facility in Seattle.