Saban grows in Asia with PT Media

Will acquire up to 7.5% of Jakarta-based firm

Haim Saban has snapped up a chunk of Indonesia’s largest diversified TV and media group as his company further expands its Asian footprint.

Saban Capital, through an Indonesian subsidiary, will acquire up to 7.5% of PT Media Nusantara Citra, a publicly traded Jakarta firm that’s the biggest and only vertically integrated media company in its market, Saban said. Move follows his investment in Tiger Gate Partners, a venture with Lionsgate to operate branded pay TV channels across Asia, and in Taomee, a children’s online entertainment company in China.

“We are strong believers in the growth prospects of the Indonesian economy, its positive consumer demographic trends and the growth of its media and content industries,” said Saban, chairman-CEO of Saban Capital, which he founded a decade ago.

Chief operating officer Adam Chesnoff called the investment “strategically important” for Saban’s “investment franchise in Asia.”

PT Media produces and distributes programming through three national broadcast networks with more than 40% audience share and houses print, radio and online assets as well as advertising and talent agencies. Its content library contains more than 100,000 hours of entertainment and news programming.

It is controlled by PT Global Mediacom.

Los Angeles-based Saban will buy 5% of the company outright with a 27-month call option to acquire 2.5% more.

The transaction is expected to close next month.

Saban, a producer and composer, has been a fixture on the media landscape. His group is part of the consortium that in 2007 acquired Univision, where he is executive chairman.

Saban Brands unit holds the rights to the Power Rangers.

He was the founder of Fox Family Worldwide, which he owned jointly with News Corp. until 2001 when they sold it to Walt Disney and it became ABC Family.

Between 2003 and 2007, Saban Capital led the investor consortium that acquired control of ProSiebenSat.1, Germany’s largest television group.

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