Balaji Telefilms has entered into a binding transfer agreement with an undisclosed party on December 29th, 2011 to sell its Media Education business and its Mobile content production business for a total of Rs 8.37 crores. However, the transaction will be seen as completed only on receipt of the full amount, within 90 days. These businesses are affiliated with Balaji’s core business, but we would be surprised if both the education and content businesses are being bought by the same entity. If you know who is buying what, and/or the terms of the deal, do tell us.
The division has been struggling, and Balaji, it appeared, was looking to cut its losses. Balaji had first announced the intention of selling the business almost a year ago in February 2011. Note that the business is being sold for Rs 8.37 crore, while, for the year ending March 31st 2011, it had reported a loss of Rs 8.35 crore on net sales of Rs 2.62 crore. The year before, ending 31st March 2010, the unit had reported a loss of Rs 4.04 crore. Overall, it appears to have been a loss-making venture into new media.
In April 2011, Punyashlok Bhakta was appointed the CEO Balaji New Media, joining from Hungama.com. The education business is called the Institute of Creative Excellence, for training in “Acting, Cinematography, Direction, Editing, Production, Scriptwriting and Sound”. Balaji’s digital division included:
– Entertainment recruitment portal Hoonur.comas a social network, allowing television aspirants to showcase their talent online, and hunt for jobs. Hoonur competes with K Sera Sera Productions’ KMediaTalent, Rajshri Media’s RajshriTalent.
– Made for mobile audio and video content – Devotional, humor, Mythology, Jokes, and “youth oriented fiction” – for distribution as mobile value added services, with content live with telecom operators MTS, Virgin, Idea, Aricel, Airtel, BSNL (on BSNL 3G as well), Loop and Reliance, as well as VAS companies like Spice*, OnMobile Global and IMI Mobile.
– For Aircel, it also produced a made-for-mobile show called Kriminal Kaun.
– A devotion focused iPhone Application on Lord Ganesha, with stories and devotional songs.
– An online show Bol Niti Bol, based on LonelyGirl15.
Disclosure: Spice Digital is an advertiser with MediaNama