Sony Pictures eyes full stake in Multi Screen Media

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) could look at complete acquisition of Multi Screen Media India by increasing its stake to 100 per cent.

The company is in the process of buying an additional 32 per cent stake from the other investors — Grandway Global Holdings Ltd and Atlas Equifin Private Ltd in MSM India — and has got a nod from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

“We have been in the venture for nearly 17 years and our partners have been expressing the desire to exit the venture for sometime now. We are bullish about the MSM business, which is our flagship business in the market and in the Indian media and entertainment market in general. Our intention is to first complete the transaction to increase our stake to about 94 per cent. Once that is completed, hopefully, we will have conversations with the remaining partners, to buy out the remaining stake and take this to 100 per cent. That is our eventual goal, but I cannot comment on exact timings, which will depend on the process, as we are first focussed on the Grandway and Atlas transaction,” said Andy Kaplan, President, Worldwide Networks, SPT. The company expects this process to be completed by March next year.

For Sony, India has been one of the biggest markets from the point of view of the cable and satellite channels business.

“The digitisation process will create space to launch more channels, but considering the market already has 400-500 channels and is fragmented, we will evaluate the market for additional channels,” he said. The company already has a diverse portfolio, he added.

The company is bullish about its regional language foray. “Regional languages will be a growing opportunity in the next few years as the growth in advertising seems to be happening at a faster pace than in the Hindi language space. We will look at how crowded the market place is and the future programming opportunities for expansion,” Kaplan added.

Published on November 05, 2012

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