Zodiak increases stake in India's Sol

India production company gives up controlling interest

NEW DELHI -- Zodiak Entertainment announced Monday that it will increase its existing 35% share in TV content producer Sol Production to 51%. Financial figures were not given.

Based in London and Paris, Zodiak is part of the De Agostini Group and is comprised of more than 30 production companies specialising in multi-genre content for TV, cinema, Internet and mobile.

The stake increase will not impact the day to day operations of Sol Production which retains its independent status and the Sol brand, Zodiak said in a statement.

In addition, Zodiak also announced the appointment of Keshav Kaul to the newly-created position of Sol Production's CEO who comes from Star TV India where he was associate VP, strategic planning. Kaul will run Sol’s commercial business, spearheading its plans for expansion into new regions, and genres.

Sol was launched in January 2003 by Kamna Nirula Menezes and Fazila Allan, former executive producers with UTV, one of India's top broadcasting groups. Zodiak first acquired a stake in Sol in 2008.

Sol's programming includes top rated shows such as celebrity match-making reality show “Swayamvar” for Hindi entertainment channel NDTV Imagine and long-running teen drama “Kya Mast Hai Life” for Disney Channel India.

Operating in over 18 countries, Zodiak's portfolio includes production companies such as Diverse, Mastiff, Marathon, Jarowskij, Magnolia, RM 5 to Elemento and Yellow Bird. The company has produced shows such as “Fort Boyard,”  “Peking Express,” “Stars on Stage,” “Wallander,” “St Tropez,” “Totally Spies!” and “Gormiti” while feature credits include “Millennium,” planned as a trilogy that recently debuted theatrically with its first part, “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."