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Thursday, Aug 28, 2003

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Pentamedia pegs Intelevision buy stock swap at 1:1.8

Sriram Srinivasan

Chennai , Aug. 27

PENTAMEDIA Graphics has decided to acquire Intelevision, which it had de-merged a couple of years back, through a stock swap in the ratio of 1:1.8. The acquisition, which was approved during the company's AGM last week, would entail a share swap to the value of Rs 18 crore.

Pentamedia currently holds about 3 per cent stake in Intelevision (which runs the kids channel Splash), with a majority of the remaining shares held by Jay Financial Services Pvt Ltd and Forsee Financial & Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd.

Company sources said each Pentamedia share was pegged at Rs 11.75, calculated according to the six-month average quoted price, for valuing the swap ratio. The acquisition, which would take about one-and-a-half months to be completed, would see Intelevision become a 100 per cent subsidiary of Pentamedia.

Intelevision, meanwhile, has decided to set up its own teleport (used for uplinking) in Chennai's Kelambakkam before the end of the year. The five-channel teleport, which is to be installed at a cost of Rs 2-2.5 crore, will provide Intelevision with programming flexibility for its channel Splash and also present it with a revenue stream — through renting out space for other channels, said Ms Nirmala Narendra Nath, Splash's Head of Programming.

On the distribution front, the channel, which is at present visible in seven million homes, hopes to double it in the immediate future. Splash has tied up with New Delhi-based Media Nine for this purpose. In Chennai, where the Channel is visible only on the Hathaway platform, it would make its debut in the Sun-controlled SCV network from September 1, said Ms Narendra Nath.

The channel is also ready with 15 new shows, most of them belonging to the `edutainment' category, which will be aired shortly. In addition, Splash has acquired telecast rights of 25 90-minute live-action films and an equal number of 60-minute animated classics. The average cost of each such acquisition worked out between Rs 50,000-1,00,000, said Ms Narendra Nath.

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