Many a headline making statement from BK Modi in this interview with Mint, which gives you the big picture of the billionaires investment plans. Modi, who had sold his stake in Spice Communications to Idea Cellular reportedly for over $450 Million, now plans to invest $1 billion in the media and entertainment business through Spice Enfotainment. And, he is singing a digital tune. Some key points:

— Gaming Acquisition: Modi is looking to acquire “a big gaming company” from the Israel to Indonesia region. Any guesses?
— The MSM deal has not been completed.
Despite several reports to the contrary in May, it appears that BK Modi has not closed the 32% stake buyout in MultiScreen Media. He says they’re in talks with Sony on the films side, and may come in as a financial investor in SET. So the deal is still in the balance.
M Films: Modi’s launching a film production company called M Films, which will invest $200 million to produce 5 films in the next 3 years
Cellebrum back on track? Apparently. Modi says that Cellebrum has filed its IPO prosectus again, after SEBI had pointed out issues with it earlier. It was a topic much debated at MediaNama.

Key themes from the interview:

This Is The Time To Buy: companies in the media and entertainment space, which requires significant investment in content production and distribution, are either hard up for investment, close to bankruptcy, or looking to sell out. The funds that were backing them earlier have dried up. So if someone like Modi has the money, this is the time to pick up stake at lower valuations. A case in point is Lehman Bros backed California based Culver Studios in California, which Modi can now buy from the liquidator. He says that ” at least six companies that are talking to us.” What’s interesting is that he’s not looking at majority control, but to be the single largest shareholder, and have board control.

Cross Media and Digital: Modi is looking to set up or acquire companies that will create digital content which can be repurposed across platforms for monetization. So he is eying the film and TV production business, and looking to buy gaming and music companies. Then there is the distribution element, where Cellebrum fits in on the mobile, and on TV – the TV channels he will have a stake in. What’s missing is the mobile operator play, which he exited. Appears to be on the lines of Anil Ambani’s plans for media and entertainment domination.

I wonder what Modi’s plans are for the Internet space. Do read the entire interview, which touches upon many other Media and Entertainment topics.

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