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Disney Formally Announces Acquisition Of UTV; Ronnie Screwvala To Be MD Of Indian Entity

Walt Disney has formally announced that it will acquire, through a subsidiary, a controlling interest in UTV and integrate operations of the two companies. This comes shortly after Disney made a buy back offer for acquiring 12,215,776 equity (29.96%) shares from the public shareholders of UTV Software Communications. Post de-listing, Disney will have a controlling stake of 80.25% of the 40,767,250 shares in UTV, with the remaining stake of 19.82 owned by Ronnie Screwvala, Unilazer Exports and Management Consultants, Unilazer (Hong Kong) and Zarina Mehta. As part of the delisting process, Disney has conveyed the intent of delisting via a press statement and a public announcement ad.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had already approved Disney’s FDI Proposal to increase its shareholding from 50.44% to 100% in UTV, clearing the way for the acquisition.

According to Disney, the acquisition will be completed through a successful delisting offer, which was already approved by UTV’s shareholders, and will enable Disney to integrate UTV’s current operations. Disney has named UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala as Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company India, who will be reporting to Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International, and running the operations. Disney said that the acquisition will allow the company to ” more effectively build, monetize and brand multi-platform franchises, and deliver a rich library of content to the world’s second largest population.” Screwvala said that the company will integrate a large stable of brands and franchises in the branded entertainment space.

Following the acquisition, Disney will produce both UTV and Disney-branded local films, and will become one of the leading broadcasters as it will own UTV’s broadcast business. Disney also said that it will gain significant presence in digital media by acquiring Indiagames from UTV.

UTV currently owns businesses in films (UTV Motion Pictures), broadcasting (UTV Movies, Bindass, UTV Action, and UTV World Movies), Gaming (True Games, Ignition Entertainment and Indiagames) and Web and Mobile (UTV Interactive). Disney currently owns kids’ television networks Disney Channel, Disney XD and Hungama and claims to be the largest retail character licensor in India.

Related:

Disney Delisting Offer For UTV Shareholders Begins Jan 16th 2012
– Indian Government Approves Disney’s Buyout Of UTV
– Updated: Disney To Buy Indiagames Promoters Stake For Rs 94.56 Crore; What Will Change?
– UTV Shareholders Approve Delisting

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