Sony Ups Stake in Indian TV Operations


MUMBAI/CULVER CITY: Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has inked a deal to up its ownership of Multi Screen Media Private Limited (MSM)—which operates the Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and MAX channel brands in India—to just over 94 percent.

SPT is acquiring the 32-percent stake of MSM owned by Grandway Global Holdings Limited and Atlas Equifin Private Limited for $271 million, with $145 million due by the end of the year followed by $126 million to be paid in three installments. Subject to government approval, the deal is expected to close by the end of December 2012.

MSM’s portfolio of brands in India includes the Hindi-language entertainment network SET and the movie channel MAX, plus SAB, PIX, MIX and the newly launched sports platform SIX.

“SPT has enjoyed great success with our channels in India and this acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to entertaining Indian audiences,” said Andy Kaplan, the president of worldwide networks at 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.”