Disney bids to takeover UTV

Major makes offer for remaining shares

With Disney eager to expand its presence in India, the Walt Disney Co. has made an offer to buy the shares in Indian media conglom UTV that it doesn’t already own. The Mouse House, which is UTV’s majority shareholder with a 50.44% stake, is offering 1000 rupees ($23) per share. At that price, Disney could pay up to $454 million for the stock.

If its effort is successful, Disney will delist UTV from India’s Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange.

UTV founders Ronnie Screwvala and Zarina Mehta, and Hong Kong’s Unilazer Group, together known as RS Promoters, hold 19.82% of the shares and have agreed to the deal. If the proposal goes through, Screw-vala will become managing director of the Walt Disney Co. India.

UTV share price jumped 4% on Tuesday to $21.30.

UTV’s interests include film, TV and gaming. It has a market valuation of $826 million and posted a profit of $31.2 million in the last fiscal year.

In May, Disney and UTV Motion Pictures announced a pact to co-produce a slate of pics that would be released under the Disney label. Disney and UTV will co-develop the movies, with UTV handling the production, marketing and distribution of the projects in the region.

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